Russian marathoner Liliya Shobukhova, the former world no. 2 women's marathoner of all time, has announced her retirement just one year after returning from a doping ban for Erythropoietin (EPO).
The 38-year-old Shobukhova ran a personal best of 2:18:20 to win the 2011 Chicago Marathon that made her the second fastest woman over 26.2 miles in history behind Paula Radcliffe of Great Britain, who holds the world record of 2:15:25. The Russia Athletic Federation announced on April 29, 2014 that "abnormalities" were found in the biological passport of Liliya Shobukhova. The race results of Shobukhova since 9 October 2009 were annulled as a result. Her sanction finished on 23 August 2015.
Liliya Shobukhova, while announcing her retirement, said he cannot say she has became tired of sports but she now wants stability and has decided to work as a coach. Shobukhova served a three-year and two month doping ban after abnormalities in her biological passport were reported. Her ban was reduced to two years and seven months after Liliya cooperated with investigators. Shobukhova, while working with the World Anti-Doping Agency, revealed that officials from Russia's anti-doping agency and the International Association of Athletics Federation asked for several payments for covering up any evidence of her doping ahead of the 2012 Olympics in London.
In January this year, IAAF and Russia track and field officials were banned for life for extorting hundreds of thousands of dollars from Shobukhova to help her avoid a doping ban. A lifetime ban was imposed on Papa Massata Diack, son of former IAAF chief, for his role in the blackmail of Shobukhova. Alexei Melnikov, former head coach of Russia’s race-walking and long-distance running programs, and Valentin Balakhnichev, the former Russian athletics president, also received lifetime bans.
Liliya Shobukhova was the winner of the Chicago Marathon from 2009 to 2011 and was also victorious at the 2010 London Marathon. Chicago and London Marathon organizers have stripped of her titles and asked her to return the prize money and appearance fees earned from racing. Shobukhova was eligible to compete at the 2016 Olympics after her suspension was lifted. Initially, she had planned to make a run for her fourth Olympic team and she most recently ran a 76:30 for fifth place at the Russian National Half-Marathon Championships in September 2015.
The Russian long-distance runner who competed in marathon races previously specialized in the 3000 and 5000 meters track events. In 2001, Liliya started her career in middle-distance running and came into limelight by reaching the final at both the European Indoor Championships and European Athletics Championships in 2002. Her first big moment of success came when she won silver medals at the 2006 IAAF World Indoor Championships and the 2006 European Athletics Championships. The current European record holder in the 3000 meters and 5000 meters and is a former world indoor record holder in the 3000 meters. Liliya switched to road running in 2007 and won the Prague Half Marathon and competed at the 2007 IAAF World Road Running Championships.