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Russia’s long-distance runner Shobukhova wraps-up her athlete’s career

May 04, 13:36 UTC+3
Lilia Shobukhova will now focus on coaching work
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Lilia Shobukhova

Lilia Shobukhova

© AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

MOSCOW, May 4. /TASS/. Lilia Shobukhova, one of Russia’s strongest long-distance runners, announced to TASS on Wednesday her decision to wrap up with her career of an athlete and focus on coaching work.

"I have made a personal decision to wrap up with my sports career," Shobukhova said in an interview with TASS. "I have been coaching children since January and have no intentions now of coming back."

Earlier in the year, the 38-year-old Russian runner was involved in a corruption scandal erupted in the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and the All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF).

The IAAF Ethics Committee ruled on January 7 to suspend for life former ARAF President Valentin Balakhnichev, who according to the committee’s findings intentionally covered up for Shobukhova’s anti-doping violations and accepted money for that.

"I have been long waiting for my suspension term to expire," the runner, whose suspension term over doping abuse expired on August 22, 2015, said. "When it [the ban term] expired some sort of a devastation feeling settled in."

"I cannot say that I became tired of sports. What I simply need now is stability and I decided to work as a coach," Shobukhova added.

Shobukhova became the first person ever to win three annual Chicago Marathons, however her results were later annulled after her doping samples tested positive. She is also the winner of the 2010 London Marathon.

She was suspended from all sports competitions for violations of anti-doping regulations on January 24, 2013. Her suspension term was repeatedly adjusted and eventually expired last August.

Shobukhova told TASS that the doping scandal was not behind her decision to complete her career.

"People return to sports after serving suspension terms and there is nothing unusual about it," she said. "They are once again subjected to doping control. Such obligation was not an obstacle for me."

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