Triple-jump national record holder Piyi Devetzi has had her Olympic bronze medal from the 2008 Games in Beijing annulled on Tuesday as the International Amateur Athletics Federation, track and field’s world governing body, announced she is retrospectively disqualified from August 2007 for failing a drugs test.
IAAF found Devetzi’s sample from the 2007 World Championships in Osaka to include traces of banned steroid stanozolol and is also about to cancel Devetzi’s bronze in Osaka.
“Whoever predicts that Piyi Devetzi will have her medals taken away will be proven wrong,” had read a statement released by Devetzi’s representative last week, upon news that her case was being investigated. Her 2008 bronze is now going to Kazakhstan’s Olga Rypakova.
Devetzi was also handed a four-year ban from competition, which will have no effect since she retired in 2009 following a different ban for refusing to give a drug-test sample. In late 2010 she announced she intended to return to the sport in 2011, so the IAAF activated the two-year ban until December 8, 2012, thus effectively ruling her out of London 2012.
Asked during an interview with Novasports about Devetzi’s case on Tuesday evening, Hellenic Olympic Committee President Spyros Kapralos tried to avoid the issue, saying “I would rather not refer to Piyi’s issue because this is something we are looking into. I have not spoken with Devetzi. There are various stages in the process. I hope she is found innocent and that she manages to clear her name.”
The 40-year-old former athlete is likely to refer her case to a sports tribunal. Her silver medal from the Athens 2004 Olympics is not affected.
Dozens of European and other athletes have now been found to have used banned substances in the previous decade upon the retesting their frozen samples with the help of the technology available today.