Banned for Life Bulgarian Top Sprinter Naimova Goes PoliticalDomestic | January 8, 2014, Wednesday // 10:47| views
Bulgarian sprinter Tezdzhan Naimova (R) announced she has joined the populist party "Bulgaria without Censorship", founded and led by controversial former TV host, Nikolay Barekov (L). Photo by Bulgaria without Censorship
Bulgarian sprinter Tezdzhan Naimova, who was imposed a life-long ban after her second doping offense was confirmed last year, has joined a new and controversial political project.
In an interview, circulated to the media, Naimova announced she has joined the populist party "Bulgaria without Censorship", founded and led by controversial former TV host, Nikolay Barekov.
"It all began with a phone call by Nikolay Barekov, who invited me to attend the founding forum of the party in the city of Veliko Tarnovo. The decisive factor for me was the trust that he has in me, even without knowing me personally,“ Naimova shared.
“I want to see Bulgaria changed. As an athelete I know one has to work hard to achieve one's goals.“
At the end of October last year Tezdzhan Naimova was stripped of her European indoor champion title and imposed a life-long ban after her second doping offense.
International Association of Athletics Federations upheld the decision to this effect, which Bulgaria’s athletics federation had taken in the middle of September.
Naimova was temporarily suspended at the beginning of June after testing positive for taking anabolic steroid Drostanolone at the European indoor championship in Gothenburg in March.
After reviewing the case, the Bulgarian athletics federation confirmed on September 17 the charges, imposing a life ban.
Naimova has been widely regarded as one of Bulgaria’s most promising athletes.
Bulgaria's Tezdzhan Naimova won the women's 60 race at the European Indoor Athletics Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden, in 7.10 seconds, nosing out Mariya Ryemyen of Ukraine.
France's Myriam Soumare was third, while Bulgaria’s Ivet Lalova ranked fourth.
At the beginning of 2009 Tezdzhan Naimova was banned for two years for manipulating a doping sample.