Meadows suffers another blow

Jenny Meadows
Jenny Meadows

JENNY Meadows feels “angry and let-down” after learning the athlete who beat her to World Indoor Championship gold has been accused of doping.

Maria Savinova appeared to have been caught on camera confessing to using the banned steroid oxandrolone.

As well as being the reining Olympic champion, Russian Savinova also beat Wigan Harrier Meadows to world indoor gold in 2010.

Meadows, left to settle for silver, said: “I am once again left feeling angry and let-down.

“As someone who values honesty, hard work and integrity I can not understand why people will deliberately cheat and deny others of what they deserve. I only hope these cheats continue to be outed so the younger generation won’t have to suffer in the same way.”

If the accusations are proven Meadows may eventually be upgraded - her 2011 European Indoors silver was later changed for gold after the Russian champion was found to have cheated.

But as well as being denied the glory of being a world champion in 2010, Meadows also lost out on thousands of pounds of prize money and bonuses.

The explosive documentary, aired by German television, also detailed shocking allegations of corruption and systematic drug abuse by Russians.

The World Anti-Doping Authority said it “will ensure that all matters raised are fully investigated”.

Russia currently has 67 athletes serving sanctions for doping offences, according to the latest IAAF report.

Meadows, as well as husband and coach Trevor Painter, will be keeping a watchful eye on developments.

This is not the first time they have paid the price for rivals’ doping.

“(They) have cost me a World Indoor title and three medals - one of each colour,” she said, referring to previous major championships when athletes finishing higher on the podium have later failed doping tests.

Additionally, she said, “four finalists from the World Championships in 2011 doped” – Meadows bowed out at the semi-final stage.

The news comes at a time when Meadows is working overtime in pre-season training, relying on the generosity of sponsors after being cut by lottery funding.

The 33-year-old has battled back from two injury-plagued years to reclaim a place among the world’s top 20, and has her eyes fixed firmly on a successful 2015 ahead of the Rio Games the following year.