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Court rules Shobukhova must repay London Marathon prize money

Liliya Shobukhova of Russia crosses the finish line to come in second during the women's section of the London marathon April 17, 2011. REUTERS/Paul Hackett/Files
Liliya Shobukhova of Russia crosses the finish line to come in second during the women's section of the London marathon April 17, 2011. REUTERS/Paul Hackett/Files

(Reuters) - The British High Court has ruled that dope-tainted Russian athlete Liliya Shobukhova must repay the prize money she won at the 2010 and 2011 editions of the London Marathon.

"The judgment requires Shobukhova to repay 377,961.62 pounds ($499,098.32) plus costs... which is the prize and appearance money paid to Shobukhova for the 2010 and 2011 London Marathons," the event organisers said in a statement on Tuesday.

Shobukhova won in London in 2010 and came second in 2011, but was stripped those titles, as well the Chicago Marathon title she won in 2009, in August last year, after irregularities were detected in her biological passport.

In addition to having all her results since 2009 annulled, she was banned by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) for three years and two months.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) cut her doping ban, which ended on Aug.23, 2015, to two years and seven months, saying the 38-year-old had provided "substantial" assistance in the agency's investigations into doping.

London Marathon Events Ltd said on Tuesday that Shobukhova was banned for life from taking part in the London Marathon, as well as from the Boston, Berlin, Chicago and New York City marathons.

"The next step is to get the judgment enforced in Russia. It will be a long and difficult process but we will pursue it as we are determined that cheats should not benefit," Nick Bitel, Chief Executive of London Marathon Events, said.

"Any money we get back will be redistributed to the athletes that Shobukhova cheated out of their rightful dues."

($1 = 0.7573 pounds)

(Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)

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