RIO DE JANEIRO: Six weightlifting medallists from the 2012 London Olympics, including three Russians, have tested positive for doping after their samples were re-examined, the sport’s ruling body said.
A total of 11 lifters were provisionally suspended for returning positive tests, including another five who did not win medals in London, the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) added in a statement posted on its website Wednesday.
They were among 45 athletes the International Olympic Committee said last week had been caught in a second wave of testing on samples stored from the 2008 and 2012 Games.
Over 100 Russian athletes have so far been banned from the Games after the World Anti-Doping Agency uncovered an elaborate doping system directed by Russia’s sports ministry across more than 30 sports.
The banned London weightlifting silver medallists, named for the first time by the IWF, were Russians Alexandr Ivanov, Nataliya Zabolotnaya and Svetlana Tzarukaeva.
The bronze medallists were Iryna Kulesha of Bulgaria, Armenia’s Hripsime Khurshudyan and Cristina Iovu of Moldova.
In total, 13 weightlifting medals won in London have now been tainted by doping, comprising four gold, four silver and five bronze.
The doping tally from weightlifting at the 2008 Beijing Games stands at five — one gold, two silver and two bronze. More positives are possible from both events.
“The IWF imposed mandatory provisional suspensions upon the athletes, who remain provisionally suspended in view of potential anti-doping rule violations,” it said.
In a bid to clean up the sport for the Rio Olympics, the IWF has barred the entire Bulgarian team for repeated doping offences and warned Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus they could face the same fate.
In addition, the IWF has punished North Korea, Romania, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan and Moldova by reducing the allocation of lifters they can send to Rio.