3rd March 2021

Five weightlifters provisionally suspended

The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) has announced that five weightlifters from three countries have been provisionally suspended, due to adverse analytical findings (AAFs) for prohibited substances. Oxana Slivenko (Оксана Сливенко), who won Gold in the -69kg category at the Beijing 2008 Olympics after Liu Chunhong (刘春红) was disqualified for doping, has been provisionally suspended based on data within the Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) retrieved from the Moscow Laboratory, and due to an investigation conducted by the International Testing Agency (ITA).

The IWF statement doesn’t mention when Slivenko’s AAF is alleged to have occurred. However, the LIMS recovered from the Moscow Laboratory covers the 2012 to 2015 period, so Slivenko’s Beijing 2008 Gold is unlikely to be affected. However, the Golds she won in the Antalya 2012 and Tirana 2013 European Weightlifting Federation (EWF) Championships could be at risk.

Slivenko has already served a two year ban announced by the Russian weightlifting federation (ФTAP) on 18 December last year. Her period of ineligibility began on 2 February 2018, but no further details were announced. The sanction is not featured on the IWF’s list of sanctioned athletes and athlete support personnel, which dates back to 2003.

The IWF also announced that three Egyptian weightlifters have returned AAFs for metandienone, an anabolic steroid. Shaimaa Gamal Maged, Islam Ahmed Zain Mahmoud, and Sara Abdelrahman have been provisionally suspended from 17 February. Egyptian weightlifting coach Khaled Korany Mohamed Hassan was provisionally suspended in June last year, after six u18 weightlifters at a camp returned AAFs for the same substance. 

The IWF banned Egyptian weightlifting from international competition in September 2019 and after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) upheld the IWF’s sanction, it was set to miss the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Given that this ban will have expired by the time the postponed Olympics takes place from 23 July to 8 August, Egypt looked set to compete. Whether the new provisional suspensions will impact Egypt’s participation at the Games remains to be seen.

Konstantinos Rempelis has also been provisionally suspended due to an atypical finding (ATF) for clenbuterol, the IWF announced. An ATF can be flagged by a Laboratory as a test result warranting further investigation, but it doesn’t necessarily indicate an AAF. The Greek finished fifth in the -77kg category at the Tarragona 2018 Mediterranean Games.

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