European marathon champion Balciunaite given doping ban

Zivile Balciunaite
Balciunaite won gold in a time of two hours 31 minutes and 14 seconds

European women's marathon champion Zivile Balciunaite has been banned for two years for doping.

Balciunaite, 32, won the European title last July, becoming the first Lithuanian to take gold in the event.

Eimantas Skrabulis, president of the Lithuanian Athletics Federation, broke the news of her ban on Tuesday.

"She will have to return the European champion's medal," he told a news conference in Vilnius.

Balciunaite was tested last July following her first major title win at the European Championships in Barcelona.

Her sample was found to contain excessive levels of testosterone and epitestosterone and she was provisionally suspended in January.

She denied taking any banned substances and blamed the positive result on a drug prescribed by her gynaecologist.

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