ZURICH (Reuters) – Kazak weightlifter Ilya Ilyin has been stripped of the gold medals he won at the Beijing and London Olympic Games after failing doping tests in re-analysis of samples, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Friday.
Ilyin, who won the 94kg category at both Games and is one of the sport’s most celebrated figures, tested positive for the banned substance stanozolol in 2008 and turinabol and stanozolol in 2012, the IOC said as it confirmed its decision to strip him of the medals, which he was ordered to hand back.
The decision was a formality after the International Weightlifting Federation announced in June that Ilyin, a hero in his home country, had failed a re-test.
The 28-year-old, who has also won four world titles and is a multiple world record holder, was suspended and missed the Rio de Janeiro Games in August where he had been expected to win gold in the 105kg category. Ilyin has denied wrongdoing.
Aksana Miankova of Belarus was stripped of the gold medal she won in the women’s hammer throw in Beijing after testing positive for turinabol and oxandrolone in re-tests.
Miankova was also disqualified from the same event at the London Games where she finished seventh.
Her compatriot Natallia Mikhnevich was stripped of the silver medal from the women’s shot put in Beijing after testing positive for methandienone and stanozolol.
Four other athletes were disqualified after also failing re-tests carried out by the IOC.
They were Pavel Lyzhyn of Belarus, who competed in the men’s shot put in Beijing, Sviatlana Vusovich from the women’s 800 meters in Beijing, Boyanka Kostova of Azerbaijan from the women’s weightlifting in London and Nastassia Mironchyk-Ivanova of Belarus from the women’s long jump in London.
The IOC, which stores samples for a decade to test with newer methods or to analyze performance-enhancing substances that have yet to be identified, says a total of 98 samples have come back as positive in re-testing from the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.
It has been naming the guilty athletics, and stripping them of their medals where appropriate, in batches.
(Reporting by Brian Homewood, editing by Ed Osmond and Toby Davis)