Five-time world champion weightlifter Tatiana Kashirina has been temporarily suspended due to an alleged doping offense, according to Inside the Games and as originally reported by Russian outlet TASS. If confirmed, this would be Kaashirina’s second offense, meaning that she could ultimately be suspended for up to eight years.
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In October of 2020, six other Russian athletes were found to be in violation following a 2017 investigation, when a “whistle-blower” sent the World Anti-Doping Agency Intelligence and Investigations Department (WADA I&I) a copy of Moscow’s Laboratory Information Management System. The LIMS stores scientific data, and it contained the names of Russian athletes who were caught violating the IWF’s anti-doping policy. The specific copy given to WADA in 2017 contained competitors who committed violations between 2011 and 2015. According to reports, that’s also the time frame of Kashirina’s suspected second doping offense, which at the time of this writing has yet to be confirmed by the International Weightlifting Federation.
The 29-year-old was a favorite to win the Olympic gold at the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo. She is one of the most dominant female competitors in the history of the sport. Kashirina has won five World Championships and secured a silver medal at the 2012 Olympics held in London. Kashirina also owns the heaviest ever women’s snatch, clean & jerk, and total with lifts of 155 kilograms, 193 kilograms, and 348 kilograms. It was a prolific performance at the 2014 World Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan, for a couple of reasons.
[Related: The Heaviest Women’s Snatch and Clean & Jerk Ever Made in Competition]
For one, the Russian lifter set the snatch record not once but twice with her second attempt of 152 kilograms before her third and final attempt of 155 kilograms. Kashirina also only needed to use five of her six attempts — her clean & jerk record was set on just her second attempt.
Nearing 30, a possible eight-year suspension could spell bad news for the rest of her competitive career. In 2006, Kashirina was suspended for violating anti-doping rules for two years. Though the exact time of her suspension is unclear, Reuters reports that Kashirina will miss the April 2021 qualification period for the Olympic Games. Also, because Russia as a whole is banned from competing in the 2021 Olympics, she would have had to compete as a neutral athlete as opposed to under her country’s flag.
BarBend will update this story as more information is made available.
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