Liliya Shobukhova

Liliya Bulatovna Shobukhova, née Shagbalova, Divorced name Volkova, (Russian: Лилия Булатoвнa Шoбухова (Шагбaлова) (Волкова); born 13 November 1977) is a Russian long-distance runner who competed in marathon races. She previously specialized in the 3000 and 5000 metres track events. She served a doping ban until 23 August 2015.[1][2]

Liliya Shobukhova
Liliya Shobukhova, London Marathon 2011 (cropped).jpg
Shobukhova at the 2011 London Marathon
Personal information
Born (1977-11-13) November 13, 1977 (age 43)
Beloretsk, Bashkortostan, Russia
Height1.63 m (5 ft 4 in)
Weight52 kg (115 lb)
Country Russia
SportWomen's athletics
ClubBashkortostan Army

Shobukhova started her career in middle-distance running in 2001 and reached the final at both the European Indoor Championships and European Athletics Championships in 2002. She moved on to longer distances and, two years later, she represented Russia at the 2004 Athens Olympics and reached the 5000 m final.[3] She ran at the 2005 World Championships in Athletics, but her first major successes came the following year when she won silver medals at the 2006 IAAF World Indoor Championships and the 2006 European Athletics Championships.

Shobukhova began to compete in road races, winning the 2007 Prague Half Marathon, but she still reached the 5000 m final at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.[3] After running in the 10,000 metres at the 2009 World Championships, she focused on road races full-time. The move paid dividends for her as she won at the Chicago Marathon three times straight from 2009 to 2011, as well as the 2010 London Marathon.[4] Her former personal best time of 2:18:20 hours was the Russian record for the event and made her the second fastest woman ever after Paula Radcliffe until it and all her other race results since 9 October 2009 were annulled following an adverse finding of biological passport abnormalities indicative of drug use.[5]

She is a former world indoor record in the 3000 m and is the current European record holder in the 3000 m and 5000 m.


Shobukhova grew up in the town of Beloretsk in the Russian Republic of Bashkortostan.[6]

She ran a world indoor record at the 2006 Russian championships, running a time of 8:27.86 in the 3000 m.[7] a few months later, she won a silver medal at the World Indoor Championships before finishing second at the European Championships. She switched to road running in 2007, winning at the Prague Half Marathon and competing at the 2007 IAAF World Road Running Championships.[8]

In the 2008 Russian Championships held in Kazan on 19 July 2008, she set a new European 5000 m record of 14:23.75, to become the fourth fastest ever over the distance.[9][10] She was selected to represent Russia in the women's 5000 metres at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.[11] After the Olympics, she won the Philadelphia Distance Run and set a half marathon best of 1:10:21, beating Catherine Ndereba to the line.[12]

In October 2009, Shobukhova was the female winner of the Chicago Marathon, finishing in a time of 2:25:56.[13] Shobukhova was the female winner of the 2010 London Marathon, finishing in a time of 2:22:00.[14]

She returned to Chicago to defend her title in October 2010 and she ran a very even pace. She overhauled Atsede Baysa in the second half of the race, as the Ethiopian struggled in the heat, and she went on to win for a second consecutive occasion with a Russian record of 2:20:25 for the marathon – becoming the tenth fastest ever. As a result of the win, she took the 2009–2010 World Marathon Majors jackpot of $500,000 US dollars.[15]

She started 2011 with a Russian record performance at the London Marathon, finishing in a new personal best of 2:20:15, but she had to settle for second behind Mary Keitany of Kenya.[16] In October 2011 Shobukhova started the Chicago Marathon as the heavy favorite along with Ejegayehu Dibaba. After a cautious first half, she sped away to win the Chicago Marathon for the third straight time in hot weather. Her time of 2 hours, 18 minutes, and 20 seconds was a new Russian record and it made her the second fastest women's marathoner ever in history behind Paula Radcliffe of Great Britain.

One of the advantages she has over her competitors is a fast sprint finish, due to her track credentials. At the 2009 Chicago Marathon, her final 2.2 km was timed at 6 minutes and 23 seconds, a 2:49 pace. This is easily one of the fastest splits ever in women's marathoning. She also sprinted away from the field at the 2010 London Marathon to win by 13 seconds, with her final 200m timed at 33 seconds.

She competed in the marathon at the 2012 Summer Olympics, but failed to finish.[3] She looked to revive her season with a defence of her title at the 2012 Chicago Marathon but she dropped away from the leaders in the second half of the race and finished in fourth.[17]


On April 29, 2014, the Russia Athletic Federation announced[18] that they found "abnormalities" in her biological passport.[19] As a result, Shobukhova's race results since 9 October 2009 would be annulled and she was issued ban from competition for two years, with her suspension to end on 23 January 2015. Pending any appeal, she is stripped of her 2009, 2010 and 2011 Chicago Marathon victories, as well as her 2010 London Marathon win, and may be required to pay back prize money and appearance fees earned from racing.[5] Paula Radcliffe, the women's marathon world record holder, commented that Shobukhova was "finally exposed as a drug cheat. Fraud on so many levels, so much money effectively stolen in appearance fees, winnings and endorsements."[19] In August 2015 the IAAF announced that she had been banned from sports for 3 years and 2 months,[1][20] but WADA granted Shobukhova a reduction of seven months for providing information, and her sanction finished on 23 August 2015.[2]

International competitionEdit

Representing   Russia
Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
2001 World Cross Country Championships Ostend, Belgium 64th Short race
2002 World Cross Country Championships Dublin, Ireland 23rd Short race
European Indoor Championships Vienna, Austria 5th 3000 m
European Athletics Championships Munich, Germany 17th 5000 m
2004 European Cup Bydgoszcz, Poland 2nd 5000 m
Olympic Games Athens, Greece 13th 5000 m
2005 European Indoor Championships Madrid, Spain 5th 3000 m
World Cross Country Championships Saint-Galmier, France 32nd Short race
European Cup Florence, Italy 1st 5000 m
World Championships Helsinki, Finland 9th 5000 m
World Athletics Final Monte Carlo, Monaco 10th 3000 m
European Cross Country Championships Tilburg, Netherlands 21st Senior race
1st Team race
2006 World Indoor Championships Moscow, Russia 2nd 3000 m
World Cross Country Championships Fukuoka, Japan 36th Short race
European Championships Gothenburg, Sweden 2nd 5000 m
IAAF World Cup Athens, Greece 2nd 5000 m
2007 World Road Running Championships Udine, Italy 25th Half marathon
2008 Summer Olympics Beijing, China 6th 5000 m
2009 World Championships in Athletics Berlin, Germany 19th 10,000 m
2012 Summer Olympics London, United Kingdom DQ Marathon

Professional marathonsEdit

Year Competition Venue Position Notes
2009 London Marathon London, United Kingdom 3rd
Chicago Marathon Chicago, United States DQ (1st)
2010 London Marathon London, United Kingdom DQ (1st)
Chicago Marathon Chicago, United States DQ (1st)
2011 London Marathon London, United Kingdom DQ (2nd)
Chicago Marathon Chicago, United States DQ (1st)
2012 Chicago Marathon Chicago, United States DQ (4th)

Personal bestsEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Athletes currently suspended from all competitions in athletics following an Anti-Doping Rule Violation as at: 06.08.15". IAAF. Retrieved 7 August 2015.
  2. ^ a b "IAAF Statement on the Reduction of Sanction for Liliya Shobukhova". Around the Rings. 24 August 2015. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  3. ^ a b c Liliya Shobukhova.
  4. ^ Brown, Matthew (25 April 2010). "Commanding victories for Kebede and Shobukhova – London Marathon report". IAAF. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
  5. ^ a b Shirinian, Zjan (29 April 2014). "Liliya Shobukhova set to be stripped of marathon titles after doping ban". Retrieved 23 April 2016.
  6. ^ Tanser, Toby (4 February 2008). "Feature Story: Liliya Shobukhova's Adventures In New York". Runner's World. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 20 April 2011.
  7. ^ Gordon, Ed (2 February 2007). "Defar in pursuit of World indoor 3000m record in Stuttgart". IAAF. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
  8. ^ Herstek, Rich (24 March 2007). "Ivuti claims course record in Prague". IAAF. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
  9. ^ European Athletics – New European 5,000m record for Liliya Shobukhova (RUS)[permanent dead link]. 20.07.2008.
  10. ^ "European 5000m record in Kazan – Russian Championships day 3". IAAF. 20 July 2008. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
  11. ^ "Russia announce team for Beijing". Athletics Weekly. 20 July 2008. Archived from the original on 25 July 2008.
  12. ^ Cruz, Dan (22 September 2008). "Birhanu and Shobukhova lead home the 31st Philly". IAAF. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
  13. ^ Chicago Breaking News, October 9, 2009: Kenyan man, Russian woman win Chicago Marathon titles
  14. ^ "Liliya Shobukhova wins the London Marathon 2010 womens race". 25 April 2010. Archived from the original on 28 April 2010.
  15. ^ Ferstle, Jim (10 October 2010). "Wanjiru and Shobukhova defend titles in Chicago – UPDATED". IAAF. Archived from the original on 13 October 2010. Retrieved 14 October 2010.
  16. ^ "Surprise, surprise: a Russian record for Shobukhova". European Athletics. 18 April 2011. Archived from the original on 21 April 2011. Retrieved 20 April 2011.
  17. ^ Gugala, Jon (7 October 2012). "Course record for Kebede, Baysa dethrones Shobukhova - Chicago Marathon report". IAAF. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
  18. ^ "Original RusAthletics Announcement" (in Russian). Archived from the original on 2 May 2014.
  19. ^ a b Ingle, Sean (29 April 2014). "Liliya Shobukhova may have to pay back over £1m for doping conviction". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
  20. ^ Philip Hersh: Finally official: Liliya Shobukhova losing three Chicago Marathon titles, Chicago Tribune, 6 August 2015.

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Elvan Abeylegesse
Women's 5000 m European Record Holder
11 June 2004 – 21 July 2019
Succeeded by
Sifan Hassan
Preceded by
Berhane Adere
Women's 3000 m Indoor World Record Holder
17 February 2006 – 3 February 2007
Succeeded by
Meseret Defar
Preceded by
Gabriela Szabo
Women's 3000 m Indoor European Record Holder
17 February 2006 – 4 February 2017
Succeeded by
Laura Muir