By Gary Anderson at the Grand Hotel Trento

December 16 - FISU President Claude-Louis Gallien centre says the Olga Golovkina medal row is an embarassing situation ©Daniele Mosna/Trentino 2013 UniversiadeInternational University Sports Federation (FISU) President Claude-Louis Gallien has admitted a row over whether to award Russian drug cheat Olga Golovkina the women's 5,000 metres gold medal at Kazan 2013 is "embarassing".

But he hopes the Russians will intervene to stop the disgraced athlete from receiving the medal.

Golovkina had originally finished in the silver medal position behind Romania's Roxana Birca during the Summer Universiade in July. 

But Birca tested positive for banned anabolic steroids after the race and has been stripped of the gold medal as well as given a two-year suspension.

That would have handed Golovkina, who claimed the European 5,000m title last year, the gold medal but five days after the race she also failed an out-of-competition drugs test for steroids and also been banned for two years.

But, technically, she is still eligible to receive the gold medal because at the time she had not tested positive. 

Gallien, speaking to insidethegames here during the Trentino 2013 Winter Universiade, revealed case was now in the hands of "legal people" with a final decision some way off.

"It's not the first time that an athlete has tested positive but when it happens we [FISU] do exactly the same as other organisations and cooperate with the relevant International Federation [in this case the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF)]," Gallien told insidethegames.

"In that case it is for legal people to decide what can be accepted or not.

"We did at the time what we had to do."

European champion Olga Golovkina could yet be awarded 5000m gold at Kazan 2013 despite failing a drugs test five days after the race ©AFP/Getty ImagesEuropean champion Olga Golovkina could yet be awarded 5,000m gold at Kazan 2013 despite failing a drugs test five days after the race ©AFP/Getty Images

The Frenchman suggested the dispute is complicated by the fact concerns over the quality of testing at the anti-doping laboratory in Moscow, provisionally suspended by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and ordered to significantly improve the reliability and accuracy of its testing, is blocking a final decision on where the gold medal will go.

"As far as I know, the lab in Moscow was stopped by WADA so what about the results?" said Gallien.

"If the legal people say, 'Well because there was no more lab than your result is no good' then [that is it].

"I don't want to make any problems."

The laboratory in Moscow, officially known as The Russian Federal State Unitary Enterprise Anti-Doping Centre, has been dogged by problems and allegations in recent months including tampering with athletes samples and of negligence, leading to the overturning of a life-ban by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) imposed on javelin thrower Lada Chernova before Beijing 2008, after it was alleged that the laboratory had made mistakes including falsifying paperwork.

Gallien claims that the concerns over accuracy and reliability of dope tests at Moscow lab may be impacting on Golovkina gold medal decision ©Getty Images Gallien claims that the concerns over accuracy and reliability of dope tests at Moscow lab may be impacting on Golovkina gold medal decision ©Getty Images

Gallien hinted a solution to the Kazan row may be possible but that it may require a back-down from the All-Athletic Russian Federation (ARAF) and said he will be working closely with FISU vice-President and head of the Russian Student Sports Union (RSSU) Oleg Matytsyn to resolve the issue.

"This will be discussed between us [FISU] the International Federation and the Russians themselves and it might be that they say okay, this is finished," he said.

"The decision should be taken after consultation with the International Federation.

"My hope would be that the Russians will say we consider that this is not acceptable and then the medal will be changed.

"I will speak with my vice-president [Matystyn] and ask him what can be done.

"We have a result and there is a dispute about it."

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