O'Sullivan resigned to long wait in China doping probe

Fri May 20, 2016 2:20am EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Ian Ransom

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - With world athletics mired in allegations of widespread doping, former world champion Sonia O'Sullivan is not expecting the medals she believes were cheated from her two decades ago to be in her hands any time soon.

The Irish distance runner has long been bothered by suspicions about the 1993 world championships, where she was favorite to win the 1,500 meters and 3,000m but was upset by a team of unheralded Chinese runners.

The Chinese women, dubbed 'Ma's army' due to their strict training regime under coach Ma Junren, stunned the world by capturing three distance titles in Stuttgart and then went about dismantling a series of world records.

Nearly 23 years on, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) is investigating the results achieved by Ma's runners following the publication of a letter in February which alleged they were doped.

But with the embattled world governing body swamped by claims of state-sponsored doping in Russia and rocked by corruption in its own ranks, O'Sullivan is unsurprised she has heard nothing further about the probe.

"They have so much other stuff going on at the moment," the 46-year-old told Reuters in an interview in Melbourne.

"I said to my friend the other day: ‘Have they created a department for the re-distribution of medals and records?'

"They have to (investigate it). It’s not going to go away. Whether they do it now or whether they do it in 10 years time, it’s not going away."   Continued...

Ireland's Sonia O'Sullivan holds her silver medal for the 5000m final at the Sydney Olympic Games, September 25, 2000 in this file photo.