Athletics-Marathon winner Balciunaite loses doping appeal

VILNIUS, April 2 Mon Apr 2, 2012 9:04am EDT

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VILNIUS, April 2 (Reuters) - European women's marathon champion Zivile Balciunaite has lost her appeal against a two-year ban for doping, the Lithuania athletics federation said on Monday.

The Lausanne-based Court of Arbitration for Sport endorsed last year's decision by the national federation to ban her till Sept. 6, meaning she will miss the London Olympics, which run from July 27 to Aug. 12.

Balciunaite, who turns 33 on Tuesday, will be stripped of the European title she won in Barcelona in 2010 and have to return the medal, the federation added on its web site (www.lengvoji.lt)

The Lithuanian, who won the gold in two hours 31 minutes 14 seconds, tested positive for traces of banned synthetic steroids. She has denied taking banned substances.

Russia's Nailya Yulamanova, who won silver in Barcelona is likely to be upgraded to gold. (Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis; Editing by Alison Wildey)

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