Blonska at the 2008 Olympics
|World Indoor Championships|
Lyudmyla Leonydivna Blonska (Ukrainian: Людмила Леонідівна Блонська, Lyudmyla Leonydivna Blonskaya), née Shevchuk (born November 9, 1977 in Simferopol) is a former Ukrainian heptathlete, long jumper and 2006 World Indoor champion pentathlete. She was given a lifetime ban from competition after failing a drug test at the 2008 Summer Olympics, her second doping offense.
Life and career
In 1993, Blonska participated in the Ukrainian Youth Championships, in Odessa, entering the heptathlon competition for the first time. She recalls crying out of fear before the 800m event, but then falling in love with heptathlon after scoring good results.
In 1995, after finishing school, Blonska moved to capital Kiev to begin training as member of the Ukrainian youth team. Five months later she received an invitation to study at the Institute of Sports and Physical Culture in Kharkiv. She found herself without a trainer and had to coach herself for a year and a half, while working at night to make ends meet.
In 1998, Blonska achieved 3rd place in the national championships with 5554 points and, in 1999, improved her personal best (PB) to 5765.
In May 2002, a year after becoming a mother, Blonska won the National Championship with a PB of 6039 and qualified for the European Championships in Munich. There she finished thirteenth and soon thereafter tested positive for steroids. She has said she was willing to appeal the IAAF's decision, but lacked the financial backing to do so. She served a two-year ban, before returning to the sport. In June 2004, she gave birth to her second child.
Blonska generally performed better after her ban than before it was imposed. She won the gold medal at the 2005 Universiade and finished fifth at the 2006 European Championships. She won the gold medal at the 2006 World Indoor Championships in the pentathlon.
Blonska's personal best heptathlon score is 6832 points, a Ukrainian record, achieved in August 2007 in Osaka where she won the silver medal. Just prior to the Beijing Olympics, she finished eighth in pentathlon at the World Indoor Championships.
At the 2008 Olympics, Blonska won silver in the women's heptathlon, but she was quickly disqualified and lost her medal after she tested positive for the anabolic steroid methyltestosterone. She had qualified for the long jump final, but the International Olympic Committee decided to throw her out of the Games completely. As this was her second doping offence she was given a lifetime ban from competitive athletics. Her husband, Sergeii, was also banned for life.
- "Ukrainian Blonska given life ban". BBC Sport (BBC). 29 August 2008.
- "Ukraine athlete Lyudmila Blonska stripped of heptathlon silver medal for doping". London: The Telegraph. 2008-08-22. Retrieved 2008-08-28.
- "Blonska stripped of silver medal". BBC Sport. August 22, 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-22.
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