Lithuanian runner denies doping

  • 2010-11-03
  • TBT Staff

Balciunaite said the increased testosterone and epitestosterone levels were caused by a drug to relieve menstrual pain.

VILNIUS - World-champion marathon runner Zivile Balciunaite, one of Lithuania's top athletes, has denied allegations of doping after failing a drug test that resulted in her being suspended from competition. 

The International Association of Athletics Federations last week informed Lithuania's athletics association that the athlete had failed a drug test taken following her victory in the European Championships in Barcelona this summer.

"The maximum penalty could be disqualification for two years... but we expect the investigation will be favourable to the sportswoman," Arturas Gimzauskas of the national athletics federation told Lithuanian radio.

The test revealed increased levels of testosterone and epitestosterone. Balciunait said Tuesday that the failed drug test was a result of prescription drugs she had been taking at the behest of her gynecologist.

"I am innocent. I have never used and will never use doping. I have been always been for a clean sport," Balciunaite told Lithuania radio in response to the charges.

"For the first time in my career I had to take this drug at a championship to relieve menstrual pains," she said.