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Iryna Vasiliyevna Yatchenko (Belarusian: Ірына Ятчанка, Russian: Ирина Васильевна Ятченко; born 31 October 1965) is a Belarusian former discus thrower best known for winning two Olympic bronze medals at the 2000 Summer Olympics and 2004 Summer Olympics, although she was eventually stripped of the latter medal due to a doping offence. She also became world champion at the 2003 World Championships in Athletics. Her personal best is 69.14 metres, achieved in July 2004 in Minsk.[1]

Iryna Yatchenko
Iryna Yatchenko 2004 Belarusian stamp.jpg
Iryna Yatchenko on a 2004 Belarusian stamp. She was later found to have been doping and lost the medal.
Personal information
Native nameІрына Ятчанка
Birth nameIryna Vasiliyevna Yatchenko
Born31 October 1965 (1965-10-31) (age 54)
Homel, Byelorussian SSR, Soviet Union
Years active1990–2010
Height1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)
Weight105 kg (231 lb)
Country Soviet Union (1990–1991)
Olympic flag.svg Unified Team (1992)
 Belarus (1993–2009)
SportDiscus throw
ClubTrud Grodno
RTsFVS Homel
Turned pro1990
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)69.14 m (2004)


Yatchenko was born in Gomel. Her career at the highest level of competition lasted almost twenty years, starting with the 1990 European Athletics Championships. She threw the discus at five editions of the Olympic Games, competing at all Games from the 1992 Barcelona Games to the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Yatchenko's World Championship career was similarly extensive, as she took part on eight separate occasions.

Yatchenko's final major competition was the 2009 World Championships in Athletics, but she failed to register a valid throw in the qualifying rounds. She retired from international competition in June 2010 and the Belarus National Olympic Committee held a ceremony to honour her career. At the age of 44, she was one of the last athletes to retire who had previously represented the Soviet Union in international athletics.[2]

Yatchenko is married to Igor Astapkovich, also an Olympic medalist in hammer throw.[1]

Doping caseEdit

When the IOC in 2012 re-analysed stored samples from the 2004 Summer Olympics, Yatchenko's sample was found positive for the anabolic steroid Methandienone. IOC subsequently disqualified her results from the Athens Olympics and she was made to return the bronze medal and diploma.[3] The IAAF also banned her for two years from sports and disqualified all her results from 21 August 2004 – 20 August 2006.[4]



  1. ^ a b Irina Yatchenko Archived 30 October 2014 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ 2003 world champion Irina Yatchenko announces her retirement[permanent dead link]. European Athletics (4 June 2010). Retrieved on 7 June 2010.
  3. ^ IOC: IOC disqualifies four medallists from Athens 2004 following further analysis of stored samples,, 5 December 2012
  4. ^ "Athletes currently suspended from all competitions in athletics following an Anti-Doping Rule Violation as at: 04.02.14". via IAAF. Archived from the original on 29 March 2014. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  5. ^ Goodwill Games. GBR Athletics. Retrieved on 7 June 2010.
  6. ^ 1990 European Championships, women's results
  7. ^ IAAF Grand Prix Final. GBR Athletics. Retrieved on 7 June 2010.
  8. ^ 1998 European Championships, women's results
Sporting positions
Preceded by
  Natalya Sadova
Women's Discus Best Year Performance
Succeeded by
  Vera Pospíšilová
Preceded by
  Franka Dietzsch
Women's Discus Best Year Performance
Succeeded by
  Li Yanfeng