sport

Doping ban for Shobukhova

Russia's Liliya Shobukhova, the second fastest female marathon runner of all time, has received a two-year doping ban.

The 36-year-old has also had all her results since October 9, 2009 annulled, meaning her marathon best of two hours 18 minutes and 20 seconds, set in winning in Chicago in 2011, will be wiped from the record books.

Russian Athletics announced on Tuesday that abnormalities had been found in Shobukhova's biological passport.

The athlete was a three-time winner of the Chicago Marathon and also won the London Marathon in 2010. All those results will be annulled.

Shobukhova's suspension is backdated to January 24, 2013 and will end on January 23, 2015.

Paula Radcliffe, the marathon world record holder, said on Twitter: "Lilya Shobukhova finally exposed as a drug cheat.

"Fraud on so many levels, so much money effectively stolen in appearance fees, winnings and endorsements."

Shobukhova has the right to appeal the ban, which will also see her second place in the 2011 London Marathon taken away.

Hugh Brasher, the race director, said in a statement: "London Marathon is at the forefront of the fight against doping in our sport and we are very proud to have been the first major marathon to introduce blood testing for all of our elite competitors, prior to each event.

"This mandatory blood testing commenced at the London Marathon in 2002 and has continued with all our elite competitors throughout.

"As one of the world's leading marathons, we continue to work very closely with UK Anti-Doping, the IAAF and WADA (the World Anti-Doping Agency) with the aim of eradicating drug taking in our sport."

World Marathon Majors (WMM) is a championship series consisting of the top six major marathons in the world - London, New York City, Chicago, Boston, Berlin and Tokyo.

Its general counsel Nick Bitel said: "WMM will continue to hold a stern line and supports all measures to ensure the integrity of the athletes competing in their races.

"Cheats need to understand that they are not welcome in our sport and that they will be caught."

Shobukhova will have to repay her prize and appearance money from those London and Chicago races.