Ukrainian weightlifter stripped of 2012 Olympic bronze medal
LONDON (AP) — A Ukrainian weightlifter was stripped of her bronze medal from the 2012 London Olympics on Wednesday, the first athlete formally disqualified by the IOC after the retesting of doping samples from the past two Summer Games.
Yulia Kalina, who finished third in the 58-kilogram division in London, tested positive for the steroid turinabol in reanalysis of her stored samples and was retroactively disqualified from the games, the International Olympic Committee said.
A three-man disciplinary panel stripped her of the medal and ordered her to return it.
The IOC asked the international weightlifting federation to revise the results and consider any further sanctions against Kalina, who could face a two-year ban.
The IOC recorded 55 positive results — 32 from Beijing and 23 from London — in the retesting program, which used enhanced techniques to catch cheats who escaped detection at the time. The Russian Olympic Committee has said 22 of the cases involved Russian athletes, including medalists.
The IOC stores Olympic doping samples for 10 years, allowing them to be reopened and reanalyzed when improved testing methods become available.
The latest retesting program targeted athletes who were in contention to compete at the upcoming Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, but has also been widened to cover many medalists.
IOC President Thomas Bach said Wednesday that further disqualifications will be announced once disciplinary procedures are completed, including hearings and testing of “B’’ samples.
“The majority of the cases have been dealt with on the IOC level and have been forwarded to the international federations,” Bach said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press and two other international news agencies. “The disciplinary commissions are working hard. We will know pretty soon.”
“If there are no surprises to the test results and the legal procedures, you can be sure wherever an infringement is proven there will be a sanction,” he said.
The International Weightlifting Federation reported last month that its sport had produced 20 positive cases. Four Olympic gold medalists from Kazakhstan and medalists from Russia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Belarus have already been provisionally suspended by the IWF.
Entire teams from Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Azerbaijan could be barred from the Rio Olympics because three or more positive cases from each country were discovered during the retests. Each national federation faces a possible one-year ban.