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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Anti-Doping News

Follow-up on an old story: Bulgarian athletes Venelina Veneva (HJ) and Vanya Stamboleva (400) had their IAAF bans upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport. As you may recall, the Bulgarian federation cleared them last summer for no apparent reason other than they just wanted to.

Eric Pelle posted a story about this with some quotes not widely available in the US.
Veneva, who won silver at the 2006 European Championships in Göteborg in a highly charged and well-contested competition won by surprise winner Tia Hellebaut of Belgium, and bronze at the 2007 European indoor championships, has long been held under suspicion by her international colleagues, with world indoor record-holder, Kajsa Bergqvist, Veneva's staunchest critic.

Bergqvist became both relieved and glad when she learned that her rival, Veneva, was caught for doping with testosterone.

"I have suspected her for almost 10 years time," Bergvist stated to Swedish news agency TT.

"As [the way] she has set up her seasons and suddenly appeared at championships, I have understood that there was something shady. That she has finally gotten caught is an unbelievable relief, but one had hoped that it could have occured earlier," says Kajsa Bergqvist.

Veneva's having jumped very good heights early in the summer in non-major meets close to her home in either Bulgaria or Greece followed by not competing at all during the month or so leading up to the major championships led to part of the suspicion Bergqvist and other athletes had concerning Veneva.

Veneva was also regularly and conspicuously absent from the major Grand Prix and Golden League meets during the main part of the season where all the other top jumpers competed against each other.

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