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.

Coaches to receive medals at World Track and Field Championships

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Coaches will receive medals at the World Track and Field Championships for the first time this summer.

London will host the 16th edition of the event in 100 days.

Coaches’ medals will be based on similar themes to athlete medals but will look different.

“The medals, gifted to successful athletes once they return from their ceremony, will be for them to hand to their coach or significant advisor in recognition of the unique and valued working relationship between athlete and coach,” the IAAF said in a press release.

Coaches do not receive Olympic medals.

The U.S. Olympic Committee established the Order of Ikkos medals starting with the 2008 Beijing Games, allowing medal-winning athletes to acknowledge one coach.

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MORE: What to watch at Drake Relays, Penn Relays

What to watch at Drake Relays, Penn Relays

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Olympic gold medalists ramp up their track and field seasons at the Penn Relays and Drake Relays, live on NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold this weekend.

Athletes are working toward the U.S. Championships in June and the world championships in August.

First, the historic Penn Relays will air on NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold on Friday (5:30-6:30 p.m. ET) and Saturday (12:30-3 p.m. ET).

USA vs. The World in men’s and women’s 4x100m, 4x400m and sprint medley relays will air live on Saturday from Franklin Field in Philadelphia. A full schedule is here.

The U.S. teams are led by Olympic relay champions English Gardner and Natasha Hastings. The full roster is here.

Rio Olympic rematches highlight the individual-event fields at the Drake Relays in Des Moines on NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold from 3-5 p.m ET on Saturday. A full schedule is here.

Perhaps no field is deeper than the 100m hurdles. World-record holder Keni Harrison takes on Rio silver and bronze medalists Kristi Castlin and Nia Ali, plus 2008 Olympic champion Dawn Harper-Nelson.

The 110m hurdles contingent is strong as well. It features the last two Olympic champions, Jamaican Omar McLeod and American Aries Merritt, plus 2013 World champion David Oliver.

Grenada’s Kirani James and American LaShawn Merritt, who earned silver and bronze in Rio, go head-to-head again in the 400m at Drake.

The men’s 1500m is headlined by Rio Olympic 800m bronze medalist Clayton Murphy and London Olympic 1500m silver medalist Leo Manzano.

Rio bronze medalist Jenny Simpson races individually for the first time this year in the women’s 1500m.

That field also includes New Zealand’s Nikki Hamblin, who gained fame of her own in Rio. Hamblin and American Abbey D’Agostino fell in an Olympic 5000m heat and helped each other make it to the finish line. Both were praised for their sportsmanship.

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