OLYMPICS Kyrgyz bronze medal winning weightlifter banned for strychnine use

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RIO DE JANEIRO: A Kyrgyzstan weightlifter on Thursday became the first athlete excluded from the Rio Olympics for doping, the Court of Arbitration for Sport said.

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Asian champion Izzat Artykov, 22, who won the bronze medal in the 69kg contest, tested positive for strychnine, a CAS statement said.

“His medal is forfeited and he is excluded from the Olympic Games,” the CAS anti-doping tribunal announced.

The 1.6 metre (5ft 3in) lifter hauled a total of 339kg in Tuesday’s contest, just one kilogramme more than Colombia’s Luis Mosquera Mosano who finished fourth.

Gold went to China’s Shi Zhiyong, while Turkey’s Daniyar Ismayilov took silver.

Frenchman Bernardin Kingue Matam cast doubt about the contest after finishing eighth.

“If the international federation and the International Olympic Committee do their job properly, I should go up at least four places because the top five are not clean,” he alleged.

CAS said Artykov’s Olympic accreditation would be withdrawn but it would be for the International Weightlifting Federation and the IOC to reallocate the bronze medal.

While strychnine is used as a rat poison, it is also a stimulant that has been used for more than a century in sport, including the Olympics.

At the 1904 Olympics, US runner Thomas Hicks finished second in the marathon and told later how he took more than a milligramme of strychnine in a glass of brandy.

Hicks was even awarded the gold after the winner Fred Lorz was found to have travelled part of the course in a car. But the American was also taken critically ill after the race.

International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams made no immediate comment about the case. AFP

AFP/CC

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