Three Chinese gold medallists among 15 retest doping failures

GENEVA • The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) yesterday disclosed the names of 15 past Olympians, including three Beijing 2008 gold medallists, who failed doping tests after their samples were reanalysed.

The reanalysis programme was launched by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) focusing on Beijing 2008 and London 2012 medal winners, as part of an effort to combat drug cheating in sport.

"The IWF imposed mandatory provisional suspensions upon the athletes," the Lausanne, Switzerland-based federation said in a statement.

Headlining the group are three Chinese champions: Cao Lei (Under-75 kg), Chen Xiexia (U-48 kg) and Liu Chunhong (U-69 kg), who all claimed gold in Beijing. Liu also won gold at Athens 2004.

Three Belarussians - Andrei Ryaboku (silver medallist at Athens and Beijing), Nastassia Novikava (bronze, Beijing) and Iryna Kulesha (bronze, London) - were among those sanctioned.

Kazakhstan's Mariya Grabovetskaya (bronze, Beijing) Maya Maneza (gold, London) and Irina Nekrassova (silver, Beijing) were implicated, along with Russia's Khadzhilurat Akkayev (silver, Athens and bronze, Beijing) and Dimitri Lapikov (bronze, Beijing).

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    Weightlifters who have won Olympic medals were named by the IWF as having failed their doping tests.

Ukraine's Natalya Davydova (bronze, Beijing) and Olha Korobka (silver, Beijing) also failed tests.

The two competitors who have never won an Olympic medal but flunked the IOC reanalysis were Vladimir Sedov and Nizami Pashayev. They are both from Azerbaijan.

The IOC is grappling with a range of doping crises beyond the just-concluded Rio Games, vowing to overhaul the global testing system in the coming months.

Doping continued to plague weightlifting in Rio de Janeiro. Five competitors tested positive in Brazil, including bronze medallist Izzat Artykov of Kyrgystan.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 25, 2016, with the headline 'Three Chinese gold medallists among 15 retest doping failures'. Print Edition | Subscribe