23rd March 2015

Eleven Bulgarian weightlifters test positive for steroids

Eleven Bulgarian weightlifters have tested positive for Stanozolol, an anabolic steroid, less than a month before the European Weightlifting Championships in Tbilisi, 10-18 April. In a statement, the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) said that the athletes had been provisionally suspended, pending any requested B sample analysis.

The suspended male athletes are: Ivaylo Filev, Ferdi Nazif, Vladimir Urumov, Asen Muradov, Ivan Markov, Stoyan Enev, Dian Minchev and Demir Demirev. Demirev is a 2005 European champion in the -69kg category, and Filev and Markov are 2014 European champions. Filev and Markov both tested positive for steroids ahead of the Beijing 2008 Olympics, where Bulgaria withdrew its weightlifting team after ten athletes tested positive for steroids. Filev has already served a four-year ban.

The suspended female athletes are Nadezhda-Mey Yuy Nguen, Maya Ivanova and Milka Maneva. Maneva also tested positive for steroids ahead of the Beijing 2008 Olympics and served a four-year ban.

The Bulgarian government’s Ministry for Sport (MMC) ordered an inquiry into the situation. ‘Minister Kralev called to his office the President of the Federation, Nedelcho Kolev; the Secretary General, Borislav Gidikov and national team coach Ivan Ivanov’, read an MMC statement. ‘Their explanation was that the result was caused by a dietary supplement. It has been referred to the Attorney General to decide whether the provider of nutritional supplements is to blame for this scandal.’

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