Russian athletes Tatyana Lebedeva and Maria Abakumova lost their appeals to the Court of Arbitration for Sport on Thursday and were stripped of three silver medals for doping at the 2008 Olympic Games. CAS confirmed the IOC decisions in 2016 to disqualify the pair plus compatriot Ekaterina Gnidenko.
The banned anabolic steroid turinabol was discovered in retests of all three women’s Olympic anti-doping samples. Lebedeva won 2008 Beijing Olympic silver medals in the long jump and triple jump. Abakumova won the silver in javelin there.
Gnidenko was eighth in Keirin track cycling at the 2012 London Olympics. At their appeal hearings in May in Lausanne, all three failed to prove the anti-doping test methods were not scientifically valid, CAS said in a statement.
If medals are reallocated, Olga Rypakova of Kazakhstan could win a third Olympic triple jump medal. Rypakova stands to be upgraded from fourth to silver in 2008. She also won gold in 2012 and bronze in 2016.
Because Lebedeva was disqualified along with 2008 bronze medalist Chrysopigi Devetzi of Greece for doping, Yargelis Savigne of Cuba could move up from fifth to bronze.
In the women’s long jump, Blessing Okagbare of Nigeria may be upgraded from bronze to silver, and Chelsea Hammond of Jamaica improved from fourth to bronze. In the 2008 javelin, Christina Obergfoll of Germany may be upgraded from bronze to silver, and Goldie Sayers of Britain from fourth to bronze.
James Rodriguez in talks with Spanish tax authorities
Bayern Munich’s James Rodriguez is in negotiations with Spain’s tax authority regarding monies due for past image rights income, a source close to the player has told ESPN FC.
However, the source rejects a report in El Mundo claiming the Colombia international will have to pay €11.65 million due to a fraud from his time at Real Madrid.
James is currently halfway through a two-season loan at Bayern from Madrid — and has recently rejected Spanish media reports that he wanted to return immediately to the Bernabeu for the 2018-19 season.
According to an El Mundo report citing sources at Spain’s Agencia Tributaria, James allegedly committed a tax fraud of €6.35m for the year 2014, with the sale of his image rights to his agent Jorge Mendes that December for €12m being a particular issue for the authorities.
James joined Madrid from Monaco for €80m in July 2014, but the report claims his Spanish tax return for that year claimed he was a non-resident, a status which the authorities do not accept.
A source close to the 27-year-old told ESPN FC that negotiations with the tax authorities were indeed taking place, but pointed out that there was no indication of any crime having been committed, and said the amounts mentioned by El Mundo were incorrect.
Asked about James’ situation by ESPN FC, the Agencia Tributaria said they could not comment on individual cases.
James is being represented in the negotiations with the tax authorities by Equipo Economico, a firm headed by former Spanish finance minister Cristobal Montoro. Equipo Economico also advised ex-Madrid forward, and another client of Mendes, Cristiano Ronaldo, during his long-standing issues. The Madrid-based firm said they could not comment about clients for reasons of strict confidentiality when contacted by ESPN FC.
Ahead of his €100m move to Juventus earlier this month, Ronaldo admitted wrongdoing over his image rights income and agreed to pay a total of €18.8m in back taxes and fines, although the Portugal captain’s situation has yet to be 100 percent finalised.
Other clients of Mendes’ Gestifute agency have also been pursued by the Spanish tax authorities through recent years — with sources at the agency unhappy at how their clients are regularly singled out for attention.
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho denied he owed any further taxes when he appeared in court in Madrid in October 2017, while players Radamel Falcao, Fabio Coentrao, Pepe, Ricardo Carvalho, and Angel Di Maria have all also had similar image rights issues and now also represent teams outside of Spain.