Belfast Telegraph

Lifetime bans are the answer, says Jessica Ennis-Hill as wrong righted


By Guy Aspin

Jessica Ennis-Hill called on the IAAF, athletics' governing body, to enforce lifetime bans on drugs cheats after Justin Gatlin's 100 metre World Championships win.

The 31-year-old fought back tears as she returned to the scene of her London 2012 triumph to receive her heptathlon gold medal from the 2011 World Championships.

Ennis-Hill was presented with the medal, denied her at the time by Russian drug cheat Tatyana Chernova, by Lord Coe just before Gatlin received his 100m title on Sunday evening.

And Ennis-Hill believes if the IAAF banned dopers for life there would be no discussion over Gatlin's reception or his eligibility.

She said: "It's a very difficult one. He's served two bans and served his time but at the same time it's for the Federation to step in. And if we had lifetime bans then we wouldn't find ourselves in this situation and we wouldn't have the boos.

"It would stop the confusion and situations like this happening. It is the Federation's responsibility. There's some incredible performances, it's great to see Usain Bolt come out and perform the way he does. It was sad he didn't win but it's still an amazing spectacle."

Before Gatlin's presentation, a beaming Ennis-Hill, who is pregnant with her second child, waved and blew kisses to the crowd before almost welling up as the national anthem played.

The gold, six years late, was Ennis-Hill's third world heptathlon title, having been upgraded from silver when Chernova was found guilty of blood doping.

Belfast Telegraph


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