News Update

London Marathon obtains judgment in landmark case against Liliya Shobukhova

Kerman & Co LLP acted on behalf of London Marathon Events Limited in the landmark case brought against Liliya Shobukhova, the Russian athlete who won the ‘Elite Women’ event of the 2010 London Marathon and finished second in that event in 2011, but was later suspended by the Russian Athletic Federation following abnormalities detected in her biological passport.

The High Court judgment requires Shobukhova to repay £377,961.62 to London Marathon Events Limited representing the monies paid to her in connection with her appearance and performance in the 2010 and 2011 Virgin London Marathons.

Nick Bitel, Chief Executive of London Marathon Events Limited, said: “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. Any money we get back will be redistributed to the athletes that Shobukhova cheated out of their rightful dues. We are determined to make marathon running a safe haven from doping. We will continue to do everything we can to ensure cheats are caught and do not benefit from cheating. In addition to testing operated by the IAAF and national federations, the Abbott World Marathon Majors has set up one of the largest private testing pool of athletes in sport, with 150 competitors being tested out of competition a minimum of six times a year for their unique athlete biological passport.”

Shobukhova is banned for life from taking part in the London Marathon and in any of the five other marathons that make up the Abbott World Marathon Majors.

James Thorndyke (Associate) and Zane Shihab (Partner) led the Kerman & Co team who acted on the case.

James commented “I am delighted that Kerman and Co. was able to assist its long standing client, London Marathon Events Limited, in obtaining a High Court judgment against Mrs Shobukhova. In light of recent events in athletics and other sports concerning doping and or cheating, organisers of sporting events should ensure that they have the necessary contractual arrangements in place to help them try to recover appearance and prize monies from those who have secured success through unlawful means.”


Key Contacts

Zane Shihab
Head of Sport, IP & Media
+44 20 7539 7312
James Thorndyke
Partner, Dispute Resolution
+44 20 7539 7258
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