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World discus champ faces lifetime ban

Nov 8, 2012, 10:55 AM EDT

Pishchalnikova of Russia competes in the women's discus event during the Stockholm Diamond League in Stockholm Reuters

Yet another Olympic athlete could see her medal stripped after she was caught doping, but Russia’s Darya Pishchalnikova is facing a much more severe penalty for this, her second offense: a lifetime ban.

Russian’s Anti-doping Agency executive director Nikita Kamayev said Thursday that the 2011 world champ and London silver medalist was being investigated by WADA after she recently tested positive for anabolic steroids.

“An athlete who commits a second offence involving [anabolic steroids] could face from eight years to a life ban,” Kamayev told the Russian media. “As for the Olympic silver medal, it depends when her suspension would start if she was found guilty this time.”

The 27-year-old has had quite the controversial career, having served a suspension of nearly three years after she and six other female Russian athletes were found guilty of manipulating samples before the 2008 Games.

Pishchalnikova was also stripped of her 2009 world silver medal and had all her results from May 2007 to the end of her suspension in April of 2011 expunged by the International Association of Athletics Federations.

All that adds up to the likelihood of a lifetime ban if found guilty, but Pishchalnikova maintains her innocence and has exercised her right to have her B sample analyzed as part of the investigation.

If found guilty she’d join Belarusian shot put gold medalist Nadzeya Ostapchuk and Uzbekistani bronze medal wrestler Soslan Tigiev on the list of London athletes who’ve lost their medals due to doping.

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