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10 years later, American Lashinda Demus poised to win Olympic gold after Russian hurdler stripped of medal for doping

Man behind Russia's doping scheme speaks out
Man behind Russia's Olympic doping scheme says cheating is widespread 01:39

Russian 400-meter hurdler Natalya Antyukh will lose her gold medal from the 2012 London Games due to doping, putting American Lashinda Demus in position to be named the champion more than a decade after the race.

The Athletics Integrity Unit, which oversees doping cases in track and field, announced Wednesday that Antyukh had not appealed a penalty handed down two months ago that included the stripping of her results from July 2012 through June 2013. The AIU said the IOC could now "proceed with the reallocation of medals and the update of the IOC database."

Doping Antyukh
Russia's Natalya Antyukh, right, powers ahead of United States' Lashinda Demus to win gold in the women's 400-meter hurdles final during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012. Daniel Ochoa De Olza / AP

Zuzana Hejnová of the Czech Republic and Kaliese Spencer of Jamaica are in line to receive silver and bronze.

AIU said Antyukh, who had already been serving a four-year ban, received the added sanction of having the 2012 results stripped because of evidence that came from a database kept at the Moscow antidoping laboratory. Though AIU offered no specifics, data from that lab was used to corroborate findings in a number of cases that came out of Russia's state-sponsored doping scandal.

At the London Games, Antyukh finished in 52.70 seconds, lowering her personal best by .22 to beat Demus by .07.

Demus, who also won world championships in 2011, stopped competing in 2016.

In an email exchange with NBC Sports when the initial decision was released, Demus said "I'm not afraid to say that I then deserve the official title, medal, recognition, and missed compensation that goes along with it all."

Despite the length of time which cases are taking to be resolved, AIU Head Brett Clothier stressed the importance of ensuring "clean and fair competition and results, even if a decade later". 

"The AIU remains committed to investigating all cases of potential violations and securing the appropriate outcomes," Clothier said in a statement. "The integrity of the sport of athletics is our utmost priority and we are pleased, in this instance, that athletes who competed fairly at the highest level will ultimately be acknowledged as the rightful medal winners."  

2012 Medal Stripped
Russia's Natalya Antyukh, middle, holds the gold medal, United States' Lashinda Demus, left, the silver medal and Czech Republic's Zuzana Hejnova, the bronze medal during a ceremony for the women's 400-meter hurdles in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012. Matt Slocum / AP
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