Helena Javornik has nearly every record in Slovenia in the distances from 2000 meters on. Her EPO positive is a huge deal in this country. Remember, most countries have a few stars, unlike the US...
TRACK PROFILE Report #771
SLOVENIAN DISTANCE RUNNER JAVORNIK DENIES EPO CHARGE
By Bob Ramsak
(c) 2008 TRACK PROFILE Report, all rights reserved
LJUBLJANA, SLOVENIA -- In the wake of her provisional suspension by the IAAF on Wednesday, Helena Javornik, the Slovenian national record holder in all events from the mile to the marathon, has denied using EPO or any banned performance boosters.
"I didn't do any wrong," Javornik, 42, told the Slovenian daily, Delo, "because I have never taken any banned substances. That's why I'm convinced that the test results aren't valid."
Javornik tested positive for the banned blood booser on April 11, and her B sample returned positive on May 13. The provisional suspension didn't come into effect until Wednesday because, Javornik said, she refused to sign a document forwarded by the IAAF in which she would voluntarily suspend her right to compete in the wake of her positive test.
"I want to emphasize that I didn't sign the document because I'm not guilty of a doping offense," she told Delo. "Signing away my right to compete would automatically sign my guilt as well."
Chris Butler, the IAAF Anti-Doping department's spokesman, was not available for comment.
Javornik competed once since her B sample tested positive, winning the Three Hearts Marathon in Radenci, Slovenia, on May 19, for the fifth time, clocking a modest 2:39:23. In March she won the Treviso Marathon in 2:28:36 to earn her Beijing Olympic qualifier.
Javornik, who didn't begin training seriously until her late 20s, is the national record holder in the Mile, 2000m, 3000m, 5000m, 10,000m, 20,000m, 1 hour, half-marathon and marathon. The other distance marks, 800m, 1000m and 1500m, belong to Jolanda Ceplak, who received a two year suspension for EPO last year. Javornik was also the European cross country champion in 2002.
Next up for Javornik is an appeal with the Slovenian Athletics Federation (AZS), where she said she'll rely on the support of specialists in the field to help make her case.
"I'm convinced that I will compete in the marathon at this summer's Olympic Games," she said.