World discus champ faces lifetime ban

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Yet another Olympic athlete could see her medal stripped after she was caught doping, but Russia’s Darya Pishchalnikova is facing a much more severe penalty for this, her second offense: a lifetime ban.

Russian’s Anti-doping Agency executive director Nikita Kamayev said Thursday that the 2011 world champ and London silver medalist was being investigated by WADA after she recently tested positive for anabolic steroids.

“An athlete who commits a second offence involving [anabolic steroids] could face from eight years to a life ban,” Kamayev told the Russian media. “As for the Olympic silver medal, it depends when her suspension would start if she was found guilty this time.”

The 27-year-old has had quite the controversial career, having served a suspension of nearly three years after she and six other female Russian athletes were found guilty of manipulating samples before the 2008 Games.

Pishchalnikova was also stripped of her 2009 world silver medal and had all her results from May 2007 to the end of her suspension in April of 2011 expunged by the International Association of Athletics Federations.

All that adds up to the likelihood of a lifetime ban if found guilty, but Pishchalnikova maintains her innocence and has exercised her right to have her B sample analyzed as part of the investigation.

If found guilty she’d join Belarusian shot put gold medalist Nadzeya Ostapchuk and Uzbekistani bronze medal wrestler Soslan Tigiev on the list of London athletes who’ve lost their medals due to doping.

WATCH LIVE: London Marathon

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Watch the world’s best distance runners chase world records at the London Marathon, live on NBCSN and commercial free on the NBC Sports Gold “Track and Field Pass” for subscribers on Sunday at 3:30 a.m. ET.

NBCSN coverage also streams on NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app for subscribers.

WATCH LIVE: London Marathon
NBCSN coverage — STREAM LINK
NBC Sports Gold commercial free — STREAM LINK

Sunday’s race start times (ET)
3:55 – Elite Wheelchair Races
4:00 – World Para Athletics Marathon World Cup ambulant races
4:15 – Elite Women’s Race
5:00 – Elite Men’s Race, Mass Race

The men’s field features arguably the two greatest distance runners of all time — Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge and Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele.

Kipchoge, the Rio Olympic marathon champ, ran the fastest marathon ever recorded — 2:00:25 in Nike’s sub-two-hour attempt last May in non-record-eligible conditions.

Bekele is the second-fastest marathoner in history under legal conditions, having run six seconds shy of Kenyan Dennis Kimetto‘s world record of 2:02:57 from 2014.

In the women’s race, Kenyan Mary Keitany, already the world-record holder in a women’s-only race, looks to take down Brit Paula Radcliffe‘s world record with male pacers set in London 15 years ago. That time is 2:15:25.

Keitany is challenged by Ethiopian Tirunesh Dibaba, the third-fastest female marathoner in history behind Keitany and Radcliffe.

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Teddy Riner, dominant judoka, to skip 2018, 2019 Worlds

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French judoka Teddy Riner, arguably the world’s most dominant athlete, will reportedly skip the next two world championships before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

French coach Franck Chambily said Riner will compete a light international schedule the next two years ahead of what would be his fourth Olympics, according to Agence France-Presse.

Riner, a 29-year-old, 6-foot-8-inch native of Guadeloupe, is undefeated since 2010 with a reported 144-match winning streak. That includes Olympic titles in 2012 and 2016 and world titles in 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017.

Before the streak, Riner also earned world titles in 2007, 2009 and 2010, plus an Olympic bronze at age 19 in 2008.

He could compete through the 2024 Paris Games.

“When I am invincible, I will stop,” Riner said in 2013, according to The Associated Press.

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