Demonising Justin Gatlin
13th September 2015
The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) has announced 13 weightlifters have returned adverse analytical findings (AAFs), seven of which are recent AAFs and six of which are as a result of the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) retests of samples given at the London 2012 Olympics. The results of the retests mean that Ukraine’s Oleksiy Torokhtiy could be stripped of the Gold medal he won in the 105kg category; and Azerbaijan’s Valentin Hristov could lose his 56kg Bronze.
‘The International Olympic Committee is responsible to decide about any consequences relating to the Athletes’ participation in the 2012 London Olympic Games’, read an IWF statement. ‘In all cases where it is determined that an Anti-Doping Rule Violation was committed, the responsibility to conduct results management will be transferred to the IWF in terms of consequences extending beyond the Athletes’ Olympic Games participation’.
The IWF announced that Christina Iovu has been provisionally suspended for a violation of Article 2.2 of the IWF Anti-Doping Policy, which relates to use or attempted use of a prohibited substance. The Moldovan, who represents Romania, had already been stripped of her London 2012 53kg Bronze, after IOC retests of her sample resulted in an AAF for Dehydrochloromethyltestosterone (Turinabol).
Bulgarian Dayana Dimitrova has already been sanctioned with a life ban after she returned an AAF for furosemide whilst taking Gold in the 48kg snatch and clean jerk at the European Weightlifting Federation’s 2018 Junior & U23 Championships. It was her second offence, having been sanctioned with a six month ban after returning an AAF for the same substance ahead of the 2017 edition of the Championships. Now, the IWF has announced that she has been provisionally suspended due to returning an AAF for the same substance.
Thai weightlifter Teerapat Chomchuen, who took Gold in the 50kg event at the 2017 IWF World Youth Championships, has been provisionally suspended after returning an AAF for exogenous testosterone. Another Thai medal winner, Duanganksnorn Chaidee, has been provisionally suspended due to an AAF for exogenous adiols of testosterone. Chaidee won two Bronze medals in the +87kg category at the 2018 IWF World Championships, as well as a Bronze in the +75kg category at the 2018 Asian Games.
Costa Ricans Ana and Maria Virginia Rodriguez Araya have both been provisionally suspended after returning an AAF for Clostebol; Brazilian Mateus Grégorio, who qualified for Rio 2016, has been provisionally suspended after returning an AAF for Oxandrolone; and Indian Poonam Dalal has been provisionally suspended due to an AAF for Stanozolol.
Weightlifting is currently only conditionally included in the programme for the Paris 2024 Olympics. In November, the IOC expressed concern at the participation of non-eligible athletes in an exhibition ahead of the IWF World Championships. The IOC said that it would await the transition of the IWF anti-doping programme from the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES) to the International Testing Agency (ITA) in January 2019 before making a decision on whether weightlifting should be reinstated into the Paris 2024 programme.
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