Athletics: Jess launches gold medal appeal

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World and Olympic champion Jessica Ennis-Hill believes athletics is in “a dark place” after Russia was suspended following allegations of systematic doping.

Ennis-Hill, the Sheffield heptathlete, finished runner-up behind Tatyana Chernova, who was later banned after testing positive, at the 2011 World Championships and has now launched an appeal to the IAAF to have her silver medal upgraded to gold.

“To have that huge shadow of doubt cast is really disappointing,” Ennis-Hill said.

Ennis-Hill’s coach Toni Minichiello remains unconvinced if banning Russia will achieve its desired aim, claiming boycotts of the 1980 and 1984 Olympics did not “achieve a great deal.”

“I don’t think it’s an achievement for us to be able to suspend a nation and then think everything is rosy,” he continued. “We have to work with people and put in tougher drug-testing regimes.”