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61 weightlifting doping positives between 2008, 2012 Olympics

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Three more weightlifters failed retests of 2012 Olympic doping samples for steroids, bringing the total number of lifters to test positive from the 2008 and 2012 Olympics to a staggering 61 athletes, according to an Olympic historian.

Romanians Roxana Cocos (women’s 69kg silver medalist) and Razan Martin (men’s 69kg bronze medalist) and Turkey’s Erol Bilgin (eighth in men’s 62kg) had urine samples from 2012 retested and come back positive for metabolites of stanozolol, according to the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF).

That makes 35 total weightlifters who were entered in the 2012 London Games to fail drug tests from that event, according to Olympic historian Bill Mallon, who also counts 26 positives from the 2008 Beijing Games. A total of 34 of those lifters were original medalists, according to Mallon, though the IOC has not announced potential medals stripped for Cocos and Martin.

In the men’s 94kg event alone in London, all three medalists and six of the top seven finishers were disqualified, all for anabolic steroids. Thirteen of the 15 weight classes in London have at least one disqualification, with one clean men’s event and one clean women’s event left.

The IOC reduced the size of the weightlifting competition for the Tokyo Games. The new rules are a way of ensuring the countries most to blame for weightlifting’s predicament pay the heaviest price.

In April 2018, the IWF published new rules which limit countries to one male and one female entry in Tokyo if they have had more than 20 doping cases in the sport since July 2008. That list of countries includes Russia.

The new rules also force athletes to compete in at least six major events in the 18-month Olympic qualifying period. In the past, some lifters have barely competed ahead of the Olympics, leading to suspicions they were avoiding doping tests.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

(h/t @OlympicStatman)

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One Olympic event, eight athletes fail drug tests: Another weightlifter faces DQ

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The 2012 Olympic men’s weightlifting 94kg event, arguably already the dirtiest in history with six of the top seven finishers stripped for steroid use, added another name to its doping list.

Albanian Endri Karina, who originally finished 14th but had moved up to seventh via other athletes’ doping DQs, failed a retest of his doping sample from those Games.

Karina’s sample tested positive for steroids, and he has been provisionally suspended, according to the International Weightlifting Federation.

It is up to the IOC to determine if Karina will be retroactively disqualified from the 2012 London Olympics. Given precedent, that’s likely to happen.

The IOC already retroactively stripped seven lifters from that event for failing retests of doping samples, all for anabolic steroids:

Gold: Ilya Ilyin (Kazakhstan)
Silver: Aleksandr Ivanov (Russia)
Bronze: Anatoli Cîrîcu (Moldova)
4. Andrey Demanov (Russia)
6. Intigam Zairov (Azerbaijan)
7. Almas Uteshov (Kazakhstan)
11. Norik Vardanian (Armenia)

The fifth-place finisher, Saeid Mohammadpour of Iran, was upgraded to gold. The eighth-place finisher, Kim Min-jae of South Korea, to silver. The ninth-place finisher, Tomasz Zielinski of Poland, to bronze.

Zielinski was thrown out of the Rio Olympics after testing positive for the anabolic steroid nandrolone.

(h/t @OlympicStatman)

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1,067 pounds! Georgian super heavyweight breaks world record total at weightlifting worlds

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The world’s strongest man? It’s still Georgian super heavyweight Lasha Talakhadze, who capped the world weightlifting championships by breaking his own world record, totaling 484 kilograms (1,067 pounds) between the snatch and clean and jerk.

Talakhadze, a 25-year-old who weights 371 pounds, earned his fourth straight world title to go along with his Rio Olympic crown. He won by 53 pounds over Armenian Gor Minasyan.

Talakhadze held previous world records of 478kg set at the European Championships in April and 477kg from the 2017 Worlds.

Talakhadze served a two-year doping ban from 2013-15 for taking the popular banned steroid Stanozolol.

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