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Khorkina Says That Raducan Would Have Been Punished Harder Following The Sydney Olympics Doping Charges, If She Were Russian

In her highly controversial book, whose highlights were tweeted by gymnastics blogger  Luba Baladzhaeva , Khorkina accused WADA of being...

In her highly controversial book, whose highlights were tweeted by gymnastics blogger Luba Baladzhaeva, Khorkina accused WADA of being unjust.

The legendary Russian gymnast recalled the story of Andreea Raducan at 2000 Sydney Olympics arguing that if Raducan was Russian, she would have received a harsher punishment.

Raducan, who is Romanian, was stripped of the all around Olympic gold medal due to testing positive for pseudoephedrine. 

The then sixteen year old gymnast was given cold-medicine pills by the team doctor that contained the banned substance before the all around final.

Raducan and the Romanian Gymnastics Federation maintained her innocence explaining that she was an underage athlete who had followed her team physician's instructions.

She was allowed to keep the gold and silver medals she won in team and vault final competitions respectively since her test samples of both days were clean.

The FIG believed that Raducan was innocent in this situation hence decided not to impose any suspension or punishment on her beside having her lose the gold medal while  the team doctor was viewed as the guilty party.

Khorkina compared Russian Rhythmic gymnastics stars Alina Kabaeva's and Irina Tchachina's doping situation to Raducan's.

The pair tested positive for furosemide, a diuretic sometimes used by athletes to shed weight quickly, at the Goodwill Games in 2001 but were allowed to compete at that year's World championships which was held two months after the Games. 

Both gymnasts were stripped of the medals they won at both competitions. Each gymnast won six medals at Worlds and five medals at Goodwill Games.

They were banned for one year and put on probation for another. They had their appeal rejected by the world's top sports court.

The Russian head coach, Irina Viner stated that her gymnasts were innocent. She claimed that the gymnasts had accidentally taken food supplements that contained the banned substance. 

Khorkina said that Raducan's doping story is an example of WADA's unfairness pointing out that they had the Romanian gymnast stripped of one medal and did not impose any suspension while at the same time they did not show the same empathy towards Kabaeva and Tchachina.

"As we were explained then, the athlete had a cold and took some medicine according to her doctor's recommendation" wrote Khorkina.

"Back then, as far as I know, the athlete was forgiven - she was stripped of only the gold medal in the all-around,"

"While she was allowed to keep the rest of her medals! Obviously, the doctor was at fault in this story and not the 16 year old gymnast."

"Maybe this sentence was not harsh because it concerned a very strong Romanian team"

"Then why didn't they show the same softness to our leaders in rhythmic gymnastics Alina Kabaeva and Irina Tchachina after the Sydney Olympics, who didn't even dope!"

Written by Gigi Farid

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