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Jessica Ennis-Hill: ‘Fight against athletics drug cheats must continue’

Jessica Ennis-Hill

Jessica Ennis-Hill won an Olympic silver medal at Rio 2016, before retiring in October

Jessica Ennis-Hill says the fight against drug cheats must continue.

The Briton’s 2011 World Championship heptathlon silver medal will be upgraded to gold after Russia’s Tatyana Chernova was found to have been doping.

Chernova’s victory was annulled by the Court of Arbitration for Sport on Wednesday following recent analysis.

“For those athletes who missed out on medals and that was perhaps the highlight of their career, it’s soul destroying,” Ennis-Hill told BBC Sport.

“That’s why it’s so important that these tests are put in place and that the right medals are given to the right athletes.”

The 30-year-old, who won an Olympic gold at London 2012, retired from athletics in October.

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She says the sport is now “going in the right direction” and athletes must focus on training “hard and clean”.

“We have to put faith in it. It’s a fantastic sport,” added Ennis-Hill.

“Athletics is incredible and there are so many amazing athletes so we need to remember to focus on those athletes who are performing amazingly and doing it clean and representing our country in an amazing way.

“Just keep fighting towards making sure the sport is a clean sport globally.”

Ennis-Hill said it was a “really strange feeling” to be upgraded to the gold medal five years after the event.

“I never thought it would happen,” she said. “I’m just so happy that I’m getting that gold medal.

“That time and that year I was going into the Olympics and I felt disappointed because I felt I’d not done the right amount of training to win there and prepare myself as well as I could.

“But deep down I knew that it wasn’t quite right and I had to go away and work harder and I won in London – so that was incredible.”

Svein Arne Hansen, the president of the European Athletic Association, said he was “very sad” Ennis-Hill did not receive the medal in Daegu in 2011.

“These people, they have been cheated from so much,” he added. “I hope that in future we are catching everyone who is cheating on the sport.”

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/athletics/38165011