Jessica Ennis-Hill has revealed the image of her finishing second to the disgraced Tatyana Chernova in the 2011 world championship drove her on to take gold in the London Olympics.
Chernova was on Tuesday stripped of her title from Daegu by the Court of Arbitration for Sport due to a doping offence, making the Sheffielder a triple world champion just weeks after she announced her retirement. Ennis-Hill said she had always believed that the result from 2011 was wrong, but used it as motivation for her Olympic crown a year later.
Ennis-Hill issued a message on Instagram alongside a picture of her and a celebrating Chernova in Daegu, and wrote: “This image was forever imprinted in my mind! However much it drove me on for what I was about to achieve at my first Olympics in London, in my heart I just knew it was wrong. So happy to finally be receiving my gold medal. Triple World Champion WOW.”
Ennis-Hill, 30, claimed her other two heptathlon world golds at Berlin in 2009 and Beijing last year. Chernova has had her results in the two years immediately prior to her 2011 triumph annulled after a sample from the 2009 world championship was re-analysed and tested positive for a banned steroid.
While last year’s initial sanction stripped Chernova’s results up to 14 August, 2011, two weeks prior to beating Ennis-Hill in South Korea, CAS has ruled she must now forfeit her gold medal after an analysis of her biological passport dating back to 2009 showed evidence of blood doping.
CAS said in a statement: “All results achieved by Tatyana Chernova between 15 August, 2011, and 22 July, 2013, are annulled and the athlete will forfeit any titles, awards, medals, points and prize and appearance money obtained during this period.”
As a consequence of the CAS ruling, Germany’s Jennifer Oeser will be promoted from her third-place finish while Polish athlete Karolina Tyminska will now be given a bronze medal from the 2011 championships.
CAS’ decision means Chernova also loses her London 2012 bronze medal, with Lithuania’s Austra Skujyte upgraded from fourth place.
CAS also confirmed Chernova would be “sanctioned with a period of ineligibility of three years and eight months, beginning on 5 February, 2016.”
However, the statement added: “Ms Chernova’s period of suspension from 22 July, 2013, until 21 July, 2015, previously imposed by the Russian Anti-doping Agency (RUSADA), is to be deducted from this sanction.”