World champion weightlifter Aleksei Lovchev banned over doping test

Lovchev on the podium at the 2015 International Weightlifting Federation World Championships.
Lovchev on the podium at the 2015 International Weightlifting Federation World Championships.PHOTO: AFP

MOSCOW (REUTERS) - World champion  Aleksei Lovchev  of Russia has been suspended for failing a doping test, the International Weightlifting Federation said on its website (www.iwf.net) on Thursday.

The 26-year-old, who is also the 105kg world record holder, was found to have traces of the banned substance Ipamorelin in his 'A' sample.

"I think this problem has a political motive," Lovchev told the All Sport news agency.

"All this is very similar to what is happening against Russian sport.

"I won't give up. I will take all the necessary anti-doping steps to show I am not guilty and this includes taking a 'B' sample."

A taskforce from the governing body of world athletics is making a first visit to Russia on Jan 10-11 to check on progress towards cleaning up the doping scandal that led to the country's suspension from the sport last month.

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has set out a series of steps that Russia must take to be reinstated before the Rio Olympics in August.

The suspension followed a report by an independent commission of the World Anti-Doping Agency that exposed widespread, systematic state-sponsored doping and related corruption.