Four Kazakh gold winners from London Games in dope net

  • Agencies, Reuters & Associated Press, Almaty/Budapest
  • Updated: Jun 16, 2016 16:24 IST
Kazakhstan's Ilya Ilyin won back to back gold medals in Beijing and London Olympics. (Reuters)

Celebrated weightlifter Ilya Ilyin has denied taking banned substances after he was named among four Kazakh gold-medal winners from the 2012 London Olympics to test positive for performance-enhancing drugs in their reanalysed samples.

Ilyin, the men’s 94kg champion, and female lifters Zulfiya Chinshanlo (53kg), Maiya Maneza (63kg) and Svetlana Podobedova (75kg) all failed tests, the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) said on Wednesday.

“I think we will be able to prove the complete absurdity and inconsistency of the allegations against me,” the 28-year-old Ilyin wrote on his Instagram page, describing the IWF announcement as “a thunderstorm on a sunny day”.

Among the other titles on Ilyin’s list of achievements are four world titles and two Asian Games gold medals.

Kazakhstan’s Weightlifting Federation said in a statement that while it was the responsibility of athletes to adhere to anti-doping regulations, it would help them appeal the charges.

The four Kazakh lifters and six from other countries, including seven medal winners from London, were expected to be contenders at the Rio de Janeiro Games in August but have all been provisionally suspended.

Ilyin, who also won gold at the 2008 Beijing Games, tested positive for dehydrochloromethyltestosterone and stanozolol when the International Olympic Committee reanalysed samples from the last Olympics, the IWF announced.

Among the other titles on Ilyin’s list of achievements are four world titles and two Asian Games gold medals.

Earlier, Kazakhstan’s Olympic committee said its athletes recorded five positives in retests from Beijing and London.

Three more medalists tested positive: Russia’s Apti Aukhadov, who won silver at 85kgs, Ukraine’s Yuliya Kalina, bronze at 58kgs, and Belarus’ Marina Shkermankova, bronze at 69kgs. Completing the group of doping positives were Boyanka Kostova from Azerbaijan, and Dzina Sazanavets and Yauheni Zharnasek of Belarus.

The IWF said that more information about the IOC retesting of samples taken at the 2008 Beijing Games, where 10 cases were “presumed” positives that required B sample analyses, would be released “as soon as possible.”

The 20 cases among weightlifters account were among 55 total positives which the IOC has reported so far, including 32 from Beijing and 23 from London. The IOC is retesting samples to catch cheats who might be competing at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in August.

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