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Tunisian Habiba Ghribi receives Olympic and world gold medals

AFP , Saturday 4 Jun 2016
Habiba Ghribi
Tunisian 3000m steeplechase competitor Habiba Ghribi was awarded the gold medal for the World Cup 2011 and Olympics 2012 on June 4, 2016 after Russian athlete Yulia Zaripova was disqualified for doping (Photo: AFP)
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Tunisian long-distance runner Habiba Ghribi was officially presented on Saturday with Olympic 2012 and World 2011 3,000-metre steeplechase gold medals stripped from Russian Yuliya Zaripova for doping.

The presentation came several weeks after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled in favour of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), which had challenged what it considered to be lenient sanctions handed out by the Russian Anti-doping agency (Rusada).

Zaripova had fallen foul of doping rules due to anomalies in her biological passport.

But Rusada had been highly selective in the periods from which it annulled her results, allowing Zaripova to keep the gold medals she won in the London Games and Daegu worlds.

Five other Russian athletes were also named in the IAAF appeal, who the athletics governing body also considered to have been treated too leniently by Rusada.

The presentation to Ghribi took place in Rades, near Tunis, during the under-23 Mediterranean Games with International Olympic Committee vice-president Nawal el Moutawakel in attendance.

Ghribi, 32, was visibly moved by the presentation as her national anthem rang out.

"I'm acquiring two medals that are very prestigious for me and for Tunisia," she said.

"To share this here, at home, with my parents, my family, the sports family, athletics, the Olympic community..."

El Moutawakel, herself an Olympic champion from the 400m hurdles in Los Angeles in 1984, said: "It's very important to present this Olympic medal, that is so well deserved, to Habiba, here in her country."

Ghribi is set to be the favourite in her discipline at the August Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

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