Victoria Francis elevated to 2014 Junior World silver medalist after anti-doping violation by opponent

by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

Victoria Francis (USA) has arm raised in victory. (Photo by Tony Rotundo, Wrestlers Are Warriors)

USA Wrestling was notified by United World Wrestling that U.S. women’s freestyle wrestler Victoria Francis has been elevated from a bronze medal to a silver medal at the 2014 Junior World Championships at 72 kg due to an anti-doping violation by one of her opponents.

The athlete who was disqualified for the anti-doping violation was the previous silver medalist, Anzhela Kataeva of Russia.

At the 2014 Junior World Championships in Zagreb, Croatia, Francis was defeated in the quarterfinals by Kataeva, 9-2. When Kataeva reached the finals, Francis was drawn back into repechage, where she won two matches to win a bronze medal. With Kataeva disqualified, Francis is the next highest placewinner in her half-bracket and moves up into the silver medal.

Francy Raedelt of Germany, who Francis defeated in a bronze medal match, 16-6, has been moved up to a bronze medal from the same half-bracket.

Although Russia will lose nine team points due to Kataeva’s disqualification, the team trophies should not change, with Japan placing first, Russia second and Azerbaijan third. The United States, which was fifth in the team standings in 2014, gains one team point, but does not move up into a higher team placement.

USA Wrestling is in the process of returning the bronze medal awarded to Francis to UWW, which will replace it with a silver medal. The timing of this exchange is currently not known.

Francis, who is retired from competition, went on to a successful Senior-level career, placing fifth at the 2019 World Championships at 72 kg, and also competing at the 2017 World Championships at 75 kg. Francis also won two Pan American Championships medals during her career. She competed for Lindenwood University in college. Originally from Illinois, she currently lives in Georgia.

“It was exciting to hear about this. Now that I am retired and have spent the last year reflecting on my career, this puts a cherry on the top. I look back at that tournament, which was really the beginning of my international career. It is cool, 10 years later, to learn that I did better than I thought I did,” said Francis.

2014 Junior World Championships updated medal standings

Gold – Sabira Alieva (Azerbaijan)

Silver – Victoria Francis (United States)

Bronze – Zhamila Bakbergenova (Kazakhstan)

Bronze – Francy Raedelt (Germany)