For Pride month, we’ve dedicated each day of June to an individual athlete or coach whose shining moment changed LGBTQ sports.
Today: We’re looking back at Feb. 10, 2017, when the Court of Arbitration for Sport stripped Russia’s Mariya Savinova-Farnosova of her London 2012 Olympic gold medal and banned for four years after the CAS found what investigators called “clear evidence” that the 800-meter champion used performance-enhancing drugs. The gold went to silver medalist Caster Semenya of South Africa.
Caster Semenya became a double Gold Olympic champion, one year after her 800m triumph at the Summer Games in Rio in 2016.
She had finished second to Savinova at the 2012 Summer Games in London. The CAS revealed in 2017 that the Russian athlete had been doping since July 2010, just before the European Championships, to the World Championships in August 2013.
“As a consequence, a four-year period of ineligibility, beginning on 24 August 2015, has been imposed and all results achieved by her between 26 July 2010 and 19 August 2013, are disqualified and any prizes, medals, prize and appearance money forfeited,” CAS said in a statement. The ban expired last year.
Savinova was also stripped of a World Championship gold medal, and although a ceremony was finally held in Doha, Qatar last year to reallocate the prize, Semenya decided she would not attend because of her legal fight with CAS over rules that forced her to undergo medical intervention in order to compete. The ruling was aimed at leveling Semenya’s reputed advantage from higher than typical testosterone levels. Officials from South Africa accepted the medal in her honor.
Right now, after a stint playing soccer, Semenya is training to compete in a new event for the 800m champion, that will not require her to undergo any hormonal treatment: the 200m.
Here’s a look at Semenya’s victory in Rio in 2016:
In other news, Semenya and wife Violet Raseboya have been hinting on social media for a few days that they have had a baby, a girl named Ora.
And Nike apparently has places of prominence on their baby registry.
Each tweet shows 3 stars, one for each of the couple and their newborn. And check out these Nike baby booties!
Follow Caster Semenya on Twitter by clicking here. We’ll bring you another Moment of Pride tomorrow and every day in June.