Iryna Yatchenko

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Iryna Yatchenko
Iryna Yatchenko 2004 Belarusian stamp.jpg
Iryna Yatchenko on a 2004 Belarusian stamp. She was later found to have been doping and lost the medal.
Personal information
Birth name Iryna Vasiliyevna Yatchenko
Nationality Belarusian
Born 31 October 1965 (1965-10-31) (age 52)
Homel, Byelorussian SSR, Soviet Union
Years active 1990–2010
Height 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)
Weight 105 kg (231 lb)
Country  Soviet Union (1990–1991)
Olympic flag.svg Unified Team (1992)
 Belarus (1993–2009)
Sport Discus throw
Club Trud Grodno
RTsFVS Homel
Turned pro 1990
Retired 2010
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s) 69.14 m (2004)

Iryna Vasiliyevna Yatchenko (Belarusian: Ірына Ятчанка, Russian: Ирина Васильевна Ятченко; born 31 October 1965) is a Belarusian former discus thrower best known for winning two Olympic bronze medals at the 2000 Summer Olympics and 2004 Summer Olympics, although she was eventually stripped of the latter medal due to a doping offence. She also became world champion at the 2003 World Championships in Athletics. Her personal best is 69.14 metres, achieved in July 2004 in Minsk.[1]


Yatchenko was born in Gomel. Her career at the highest level of competition lasted almost twenty years, starting with the 1990 European Athletics Championships. She threw the discus at five editions of the Olympic Games, competing at all Games from the 1992 Barcelona Games to the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Yatchenko's World Championship career was similarly extensive, as she took part on eight separate occasions.

Yatchenko's final major competition was the 2009 World Championships in Athletics, but she failed to register a valid throw in the qualifying rounds. She retired from international competition in June 2010 and the Belarus National Olympic Committee held a ceremony to honour her career. At the age of 44, she was one of the last athletes to retire who had previously represented the Soviet Union in international athletics.[2]

Yatchenko is married to Igor Astapkovich, also an Olympic medalist in hammer throw.[1]

Doping case[edit]

When the IOC in 2012 re-analysed stored samples from the 2004 Summer Olympics, Yatchenko's sample was found positive for the anabolic steroid Methandienone. IOC subsequently disqualified her results from the Athens Olympics and she was made to return the bronze medal and diploma.[3] The IAAF also banned her for two years from sports and disqualified all her results from 21 August 2004 – 20 August 2006.[4]


Year Competition Venue Position Notes
Representing  Soviet Union
1990 Goodwill Games Seattle, United States 2nd[5] 67.04 m
European Championships Split, Yugoslavia 5th[6] 65.16 m
1991 World Championships Tokyo, Japan 7th 64.92 m
Representing Olympic flag.svg Unified Team
1992 Olympic Games Barcelona, Spain 7th 63.74 m
IAAF Grand Prix Final Turin, Italy 3rd Second on season's points[7]
Representing  Belarus
1995 World Championships Gothenburg, Sweden 9th 60.48 m
1996 Olympic Games Atlanta, United States 12th 60.46 m
1997 World Championships Athens, Greece 5th 62.58 m
1998 European Championships Budapest, Hungary 8th[8] 61.20 m
1999 World Championships Seville, Spain 9th 62.99 m
2000 Olympic Games Sydney, Australia 3rd 65.20 m
2001 World Championships Edmonton, Canada 9th 59.45 m
2003 World Championships Paris, France 1st 67.32 m
World Athletics Final Monte Carlo, Monaco 8th
2004 Olympic Games Athens, Greece DSQ (3rd) 66.17 m
World Athletics Final Monte Carlo, Monaco DSQ (3rd)
2006 European Championships Gothenburg, Sweden 10th 59.65 m
2007 World Championships Paris, France 10th 62.63 m
2008 Olympic Games Beijing, China 11th 59.27 m
2009 World Championships Berlin, Germany NM No mark


Sporting positions
Preceded by
Russia Natalya Sadova
Women's Discus Best Year Performance
Succeeded by
Czech Republic Vera Pospíšilová
Preceded by
Germany Franka Dietzsch
Women's Discus Best Year Performance
Succeeded by
China Li Yanfeng