Olympic Discus Thrower Loses Silver Medal After Testing Positive for Anabolic Steroids

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Darya Pischchalnikova, a female discus thrower from Russia, will have to return her silver medal from the 2012 London Olympics after testing positive for the anabolic steroid stanozolol. Stanozolol is more commonly known by its trade name Winstrol. Stanozolol is available as an injectable Winstrol Depot and an orally-active Winstrol Tablet.

Pischchalnikova had passed at least seven anti-doping protocols this year including the Olympic-style testing in London. But for some reason, anti-doping officials remained suspicious.

Several weeks after the conclusion of the London Olympics, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) decided to re-analyze a urine sample from Pischchalnikova that had been in storage since May 20, 2012. The original testing of the sample found no evidence of steroid use or any other type of performance-enhancement drug (PED).

The reason for the re-testing was not disclosed. Perhaps WADA remained suspicious of a throw of 70.69 meters at the Russian Track and Field Championships in July 2012. No other woman had thrown the discus as far in 20 years. Plus, the throw was about five meter further than Pischchalnikova had ever thrown in competition.

Nikita Kamayev, the executive director of Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA), confirmed that the re-analyzed May sample tested positive for trace amounts of stanozolol metabolites.

“In October 2012, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) ordered that Pishchalnikova’s sample, taken on May 20 2012, was re-tested at a laboratory in Lausanne. The result was adverse,” according RUSADA.

Pischhalnikova faces a lifetime ban from sports competition since the Winstrol positive represents the second time she has been found in violation of the World Anti-Doping Code. She was suspended for two years after being found to have manipulated her urine sample during a testing in 2008.

The Russian discus thrower is only the third medalist from the 2012 London Olympics forced to return their medal after testing positive for steroids (or any other PED).

Nadzeya Ostapchuk, a shot putter from Belarus, tested positive for the anabolic steroids methenolone (aka Primobolan) after winning the Olympic gold medal.

Soslan Tigiev, a wrestler from Uzbekistan, tested positive for methylhexaneamine and was stripped of a bronze medal.


McKay, D. (November 29, 2012). Russian faces losing London 2012 Olympic silver medal after positive test confirmed. Retrieved from