© Copyright – 2015 – Athletics Illustrated
The 2015 Pan American Games women’s marathon winner, Gladys Tejeda of Peru tested positive or more accurately testers found an adverse analytical finding from her July 17, 2015 out of competition test, but apparently it was for a substance that does not favor athletic performance. The name of the substance, which Tejeda supposedly purchased with her doctor’s prescription, has not yet been made public.
In that race, she broke the Pan Am Games record by crossing the line in the time of 2:33:03, finishing two and a half minutes ahead of the next finisher in very warm and humid conditions.
“Yes the day of the marathon at Toronto Pan Am’s was incredibly hot and humid,” said Canada’s Rachel Hannah who finished fourth in the event.
Currently, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) is conducting an email vote to decide whether Tejeda should be stripped of her medal. If the drug turns out to be on the banned list and is a masking agent or performance enhancing drug, there should be no question that not only should she be suspended for two years, but also stripped of her performance. So far, she has not been suspended and the Pan American Sports Organization has not made an official statement.
If she is to be suspended, all athletes that finished behind her should move up one position, which means that Brazilian Adriana Da Silva should be awarded the gold medal as she finished second in the time of 2:35:40 and Lindsay Flanagan of the US should move up to the silver medal position. She was the third fastest finisher in the time of 2:36:30. Hannah should be awarded the bronze medal; she finished in the time of 2:41:06.
When asked about the positive test Hannah told Athletics Illustrated, “I first learned of Gladys’ positive test yesterday evening and only through social media. It’s too early to say what will happen. We’ll wait for what sounds like a vote on Gladys’ Pan Am medal status with PASO.”
During the games another Peruvian tested positive and was subsequently suspended. Swimmer Mauricio Fiol was stripped of his silver medal after testing positive for an anabolic steroid. Fiol won silver in the 200-metre butterfly.
In athletics, there has been more movement towards moving all competitors up and to strip cheating athletes of their performances. For example Canada’s Dylan Armstrong who finished fourth in the shot put in the 2010 world indoor track and field championships and third in the 2011 world (outdoor) championships was awarded the bronze and silver, respectively. That is once Andrei Mikhnevich of Belarus was stripped of his performances dating back to 2005.
The case of Andrei Mikhnevich, which followed the IAAF’s re-testing of a selection of doping samples collected at the 2005 world championships that took place in Helsinki, Finland concluded with the sanction of a lifetime of ineligibility from December 26, 2012.
Hannah added, “I’m thankful that the COC and Athletics Canada keeps our National Teams clean and all we can do is keep working hard, striving high and taking on the international competition with our very best as Canadian Athletics has done so well at this summer.”