3 Russian medalists among 11 positives in 2012 Games retests

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Posted: Jul 27, 2016 2:52 PM
3 Russian medalists among 11 positives in 2012 Games retests

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Eleven weightlifters, including three Russian medalists, have tested positive for banned drugs in the latest retests of samples from the 2012 London Olympics, the International Weightlifting Federation said Wednesday.

The IWF said in a statement that all 11 athletes, six of whom were medalists, had been provisionally suspended until their cases are closed.

Four of the 11 are Russians, who all tested positive for dehydrochlormethyltestosterone, an anabolic steroid.

The positive Russian tests came from Alexandr Ivanov, silver medalist in the men's 94-kilogram division; Nataliya Zabolotnaya, silver in the women's 75-kilogram division; Svetlana Tzarukaeva, silver in the women's 63-kilogram division; and Andrey Demanov, who placed fourth in the men's 94-kilogram division. Ivanov also tested positive for tamoxifen, a hormone modulator.

The three other medal winners in the group were Hripsime Khurshudyan, Armenia (bronze, over-75-kilogram division), Iryna Kulesha, Belarus (bronze, 75-kilogram division) and Cristina Iovu of Moldova (bronze, 53-kilogram division).

Also testing positive were Turkey's Sibel Simsek, Almas Uteshov of Kazakhstan, Georgia's Rauli Tsirekidze and Intigam Zairov of Azerbaijan.

Bulgarian weightlifters have been banned from the upcoming Rio de Janeiro Games because of the large number of positive doping tests, while Russian weightlifters also risk being barred from the Olympics.

On Monday, the IWF said it had requested "further clarification" from the International Olympic Committee and the World Anti-Doping Agency before its decision on which Russian athletes can be cleared to compete in Rio.

After consultations on Sunday, the IOC stopped short of a blanket ban on Russian athletes at the Rio Games, following a WADA report that accused Russia of widespread doping and cover-up. Instead, Olympic selection was left to individual sporting federations, provided the athletes met certain criteria — which included a clean record in anti-doping tests.

The IOC stores Olympic doping samples for 10 years, allowing them to be reopened and reanalyzed when improved testing methods become available.

So far, 31 of the 98 doping positives discovered in the retests of samples from the 2008 Beijing Games and the 2012 London Olympics were weightlifters.