Drug use: 2008 Olympic medallists at risk of losing medals

Three Olympic medallists from China are among 11 weightlifters who face being stripped of their medals after failing retests of their Beijing 2008 doping samples.

The 11 medallists tested positive for a range of banned substances, says the International Weightlifting Federation.

Among those to fail are gold medallists Cao Lei, Liu Chunhong and Chen Xiexia.

The other eight medallists to test positive are from Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Ukraine.

Andrei Rybakou of Belarus, who holds the 85kg world record with a 187kg snatch and won silver in 2008, tested positive in the retests.

The others to fail are 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.

They are all provisionally suspended until the cases are resolved.

Four other weightlifters from Beijing 2008, who did not win medals, also failed retests.

An earlier set of retests in June and July led to suspensions for 10 weightlifters who competed at the 2008 Olympics, including five medallists.

The weightlifting at this month’s Rio Olympics was hit by doping, with Kyrgyzstan’s Izzat Artykov losing his bronze medal after testing positive.

A Mongolian weightlifter who did not make the podium also failed a drugs test, and Polish 2012 Olympic champion Adrian Zielinski was sent home after testing positive for nandrolone.

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