LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND – Two wrestlers and a weightlifter have been stripped of Olympic medals for doping with anabolic steroids at the 2008 and 2012 Games.
Uzbek wrestler Artur Taymazov, who won a gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and Ukrainian wrestler Vasyl Fedoryshyn, who won silver, have been ordered to return their medals, the International Olympic Committee said in a statement.
Russian weightlifter Svetlana Tzarukaeva won silver at the 2012 London Games and also was asked to give her medal back. Her disqualification leaves Canadian lifter Christine Girard in line to be upgraded from bronze to the gold medal, as the original race winner, Maiya Maneza of Kazakhstan, was disqualified last year for doping.
The IOC, which stores doping samples for 10 years, has reanalyzed more than 1,000 samples from Beijing and London with improved techniques that can detect the use of steroids going back weeks and months, rather than days.
A total of 65 sanctions have now been imposed on Olympic athletes from the Beijing Games due to retests, the IOC said. Five of those cases were in 2009 and 59 in re-analysis last year.
Of those 65 sanctions, 40 involve medals that have been or are likely to be reallocated.
The total is 45 sanctions and 20 medals for athletes at the London Olympics, including four Russians who were targeted later as a result of an investigation by World Anti-Doping Agency investigator Richard McLaren into a state-backed doping program.
The three latest cases all involved turinabol, the steroid best known for East Germany’s doping program in the 1970s and ’80s. Taymazov also tested positive for stanozolol, which sprinter Ben Johnson of Canada used at the 1988 Olympics.