Former New Zealand Drug Cheat Back Running

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Jun. 2, 2011
Liza Hunter-Galvan has served out a two-year ban for EPO. Photo:

Liza Hunter-Galvan has served out a two-year ban for EPO. Photo:

She had tested positive for EPO in 2009.

Liza Hunter-Galvan’s entry into this weekend’s Christchurch Marathon is upsetting many runners. The reason: she was banned from the sport two years ago for using a banned substance, EPO. However, Hunter-Galvan has completed her two-year ban and is competing legally.

Gabrielle O’Rourke, the owner of two New Zealand national records and 10th-place finisher at the 1993 Boston Marathon is not happy sharing the start line with Hunter-Galvan.

“I don’t feel that comfortable standing on the start line,” O’Rourke said. ”But I have to get over that and I know a few of the others are feeling the same way. A few of us showed her support and we feel like we have been slapped in the face.”

O’Rourke was referring to a letter she wrote in 2004 urging the New Zealand Olympic Committee to select Hunter-Galvan for the games in Athens. Hunter-Galvan tested positive in 2009.

“She has every right to run but for me it puts a mark against the race,” O’Rourke continued. ”It is too soon. It doesn’t seem like two years ago we were so disappointed.”

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Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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