Belarus Risks Loosing Two Beijing 2008 Medals After Doping Retests

The 11 Olympic medallists tested positive for a range of banned substances, the International Weightlifting Federation announced after doping retests on August 24. Black list includes three Belarusian weightlifters, two of whom were medalists of the Olympics.

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, bronze medals winner in the category of under 58kg, and Iryna Kulesha, who came 4th in the under 75 kg weight category.

Andrei Rybakou of Belarus reacts after lifting 209kg in the men's 85kg Group A clean and jerk weightlifting competition at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games August 15, 2008. REUTERS/Yves Herman (CHINA) - RTR215Z3

Other sportsmen who tested positive are Chinese gold medalists Cao Lei, Liu Chunhong, and Chen Xiexia, Kazakhstan’s Maria Grabovetskaya and Irina Nekrasova, Russia’s Khadzhimurat Akkaev and Dmitry Lapikov and Ukraine’s Natalya Davydova and Olha Korobka.

All of the athletes have been provisionally suspended until the doping cases are decided.

In accordance with the decision by the International Olympic Committee, the International Weightlifting Federation will assume the function of the revision of the results of Beijing Summer Olympics.

Last week the IWF chief Tamas Ajan announced that Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia will be banned for one year after the Rio Olympics because of doping.