Russian heptathlete stripped of Beijing 2008 bronze

Tatiana Chernova of Russia reacts during her women's heptathlon high jump qualifying round at the National Stadium during the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games August 15, 2008. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

BERLIN (Reuters) - Russian Olympic heptathlete Tatiana Chernova was stripped of her 2008 Beijing Games bronze medal on Monday after she tested positive to banned substances in re-tests of her sample.

Chernova's 2008 sample tested positive for anabolic steroid turinabol as did the sample from the 2012 Olympics of fellow Russian Maksim Dyldin, who was fifth with the 4x400m relay team at the Games in London.

Cheronova initially finished fourth in Beijing but was upgraded to bronze after Ukraine's Liudmyla Blonska tested positive in 2008. Britain's Kelly Sotherton, originally fifth, is now in line to be promoted to the bronze medal position.

More than 100 athletes have had positive results in re-tests of samples taken during the London 2012 and Beijing 2008 Olympics conducted by the IOC.

The re-testing programme is part of the IOC's efforts to catch cheats using newer testing methods or looking for substances that were not known at the time of past Olympics, and to prevent them from competing in future Games.

Samples are stored for a decade, and for the 2008 and 2012 re-tests Russia has had the most positive cases per nation.

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Mitch Phillips)

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