3 Chinese weightlifters fail 2008 dope tests

The International Weightlifting Federation on Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016, said that 11 2008 Olympic athletes tested positive in retests, including Liu Chunhong, for a range of banned substances in the latest scandal to shake the sport, which is already processing retests which caught numerous medalists from the 2008 and 2012 games. Photo: AP

Three Olympic champion weightlifters from China and eight other medalists stand to be stripped of their titles after failing retests of their samples from the 2008 Olympics.

The International Weightlifting Federation says the 11 tested positive for a range of banned substances in the latest scandal to shake the sport. They are all suspended until the doping cases are resolved.

In a statement on its website yesterday, the IWF said Chinese gold medalists Cao Lei, Liu Chunhong and Chen Xiexia all tested positive for GHRP-2, which stimulates growth hormone production, while Liu also tested positive for the stimulant sibutramine.

The eight medalists include current world record holder Andrei Rybakou of Belarus, who won silver in 2008. All tested positive for various anabolic steroids, the IWF said.

The other medalists involved were named as Anastasia Novikova of Belarus, Kazakhstan’s Maria Grabovetskaya and Irina Nekrasova, Russia’s Khadzhimurat Akkaev and Dmitry Lapikov, and Ukraine’s Natalya Davydova and Olha Korobka.

Four weightlifters from Beijing 2008 Games who did not win medals were also named as having failed tests. They include Kazakhstan’s Maiya Maneza and Belarus’s Iryna Kulesha, both of whom won medals in 2012 but not 2008 and are already suspended over retests from 2012.

A further 10 lifters who competed in Beijing, including five medalists, were already suspended after failing earlier retests.

Weightlifting at the Rio Olympics has been marred by doping, with Kyrgyzstan’s Izzat Artykov losing his bronze medal.

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