Jessica Ennis-Hill has appealed to the International Association of Athletics Federations to upgrade her silver medal from the 2011 world championships in Daegu to gold following her Russian rival Tatyana Chernova’s positive drug test in January.
Chernova, who beat Ennis-Hill by 129 points in 2011, was given a two-year ban in January by the Russian anti-doping agency after a retesting of her sample from the 2009 world championships found a prohibited anabolic steroid.
However, while Chernova’s results from 15 August 2009 to 14 August 2011 have been annulled, Ennis-Hill is unhappy that the Russian may keep the gold medal because the world championships started a fortnight later, on 28 August, and are thus not covered by the annulment.
Ennis-Hill said: “Obviously I’m not happy about how the ban has been handled. I can’t really understand it, so I’m in communications with the IAAF. But I definitely want that medal.
“I am hoping they will revisit Daegu because I can’t understand how that is fair. Steroids can have an effect on your body for years.”
And while Ennis-Hill is delighted that a German TV documentary exposed the extent of institutionalised doping in Russia she believes that more should be done to rid the sport of cheats such as Chernova. “We need to be really strict and harsh,” she said. “If you are cheating, you’re out. I don’t think you should be allowed to come back and keep your medals.”
Ennis-Hill, who hopes to compete in her first heptathlon since winning Olympic gold next month following the birth of her son Reggie, also expressed surprise that Chernova’s ban was backdated by the Russian authorities so that it started on 22 July 2013, which means she could yet compete against her in the world championships in Beijing this year.
“It’s so frustrating – although frustration isn’t a strong enough word because you train hard for all those years and then people do things like that,” she said. “It doesn’t seem like she has served a ban.
“Although heptathletes won’t openly say anything, there’s a feeling among everyone that we know what she’s doing, know it’s not right and we don’t agree with it,” she said, speaking at an Adidas event.
Ennis-Hill also expressed her disappointment that Nike had awarded the American sprinter Justin Gatlin, who has failed two drug tests, a lucrative new contract. “You see people cheating and they are rewarded for it down the line. I just don’t think its fair,” she added.
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