Catalina Ponor, Marian Dragulescu signal gymnastics comebacks

Catalina Ponor
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Romania’s most decorated female and male gymnasts since 2000 could compete for the first time in more than two years after re-entering the drug-testing pool, according to the International Gymnastics Federation.

Catalina Ponor and Marian Dragulescu own a combined eight Olympic medals and 14 World Championships medals, all won between 2001 and 2012.

Ponor, 27, last competed at the London 2012 Olympics, winning floor exercise silver and team bronze following a four-year retirement. Ponor was the most decorated gymnast at the Athens 2004 Olympics, grabbing three gold medals.

Dragulescu, 34, last competed in the Olympics in 2008 and the World Championships in 2011. He is among the most decorated gymnasts without an Olympic gold medal. Dragulescu suffered heartbreak in the 2004 and 2008 Olympic vault finals, posting the highest scores on his first vault each time but falling on his second vault both times as well.

Romania hopes to reverse a recent slide in its national sport. The former powerhouse won just two medals in Beijing and three in London, all on the women’s side. The men failed to qualify for the 2012 Olympic team final.

Romania does have optimism in the form of Larisa Iordache, who won the 2014 World Championships all-around silver medal behind American Simone Biles.

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