Controversial distance runner Olga Yegorova, who tested positive for the banned substance EPO earlier this year, has been named the Russian Athlete of the Year.

Yegorova, the world 5,000 meters champion, edged out triple jump champion Tatiana Lebedeva and heptathlete Elena Prokhorova in voting by Russian athletics coaches last week.

Yegorova opened the 2001 season with a world indoors 3,000 meters title in Lisbon, Portugal. She also set a European record in the 5,000 meters at the final Golden League meet of the year.

However, it was her positive test for the banned hormone EPO at a Golden League meet in July that gathered the most attention. EP0 increases an athlete's endurance by boosting production of oxygen-carrying red blood cells.

The 29-year-old was suspended by the International Association of Athletics Federations, but was later allowed to compete at the World Championships after the IAAF ruled there were procedural flaws in her testing. She went on to win the world championship in Edmonton in Alberta, Canada, in August.