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Athletics: Marathon Champion Živilė Balčiūnaitė Banned for 2 Years

The 2010 European Marathon Champion, Živilė Balčiūnaitė, has been banned from competition by the Lithuanian Athletics Federation. She will be stripped of her 2010 European Championships medal earned in Barcelona.

The decision was handed down on 5th April 2011 by the LLAF disciplinary commission and ruled that Balčiūnaitė had violated IAAF anti-doping rule, Article 32.2, by giving a sample which tested positive for a prohibited substance or its metabolites or markers. The initial suspension, which occurred in October 2010, stated that the talented athlete had more than the allowed amount of testosterone in her blood.

Balčiūnaitė has been competing in major competitions since 1998. She finished 14th and 11th in the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Marathons respectively, narrowly missing out on a medal at the European Championships in 2006. At the 2010 European Championships in Barcelona her marathon triumph had warranted congratulations from the Prime Minister of Lithuania and celebrations throughout the country.

Her disqualification runs from 6th September 2010 – 6th September 2012. The LLAF also gave a warning to the athlete’s coach Sausaičiui Romas.

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Stories from the Sport Desk at The Global Herald.

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