Two Uzbekistan weightlifters tested positive for banned substances and were disqualified from the Asian Games, officials said yesterday, a day after announcing the games' first doping case in the same sport.
Elmira Ramileva, who placed fifth in the women's 69kg division, tested positive to the anabolic steroid stanozolol in a test taken last Monday.
Alexander Urinov, who was seventh in the men's 105kg class, returned positive for cannabis in a Dec. 3 sample.
Both athletes admitted to taking the substances and waived their right to a test on their B samples, Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) director-general Husain Al Musallam said.
"All the medalists in these two events were tested and no [other] positive case has been reported," Al Musallam said.
He announced on Saturday that Than Kyi Kyi, a female weightlifter from Myanmar, had tested positive for a banned diuretic.
Than, a former world championships gold medalist who placed fourth in the 48kg division, also waived her right to have a B sample analyzed after her initial urine sample on Dec. 2 showed elevated traces of furosemide. Diuretics can be used to mask steroids.
OCA Medical Committee member Jegathesan Manikavasagam said the stanozolol could have been in Ramileva's system for several weeks to a month, while the cannabis from Urinov's test was probably only a couple of days old.
The most famous doping case involving stanozolol was former 100m world record holder Ben Johnson, who was stripped of his gold medal after testing positive at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul.
Al Musallam said all athletes in Doha could be subject to random and in-competition testing, according to international rules.
All cases have been referred to the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) for further action. Than and Ramileva faced two-year bans from competition.
Manikavasagam said the Uzbekistan weightlifting delegation could face sanctions if it returned further positive doping tests, only depending on the response from the IWF. There were 14 weight divisions conducted over five days of competition. The doping results are back in for the first three days.
Abdulwahab Al Musleh, organizing committee doping control manager, said around 750 of the anticipated 1200 doping tests had been conducted by Saturday night.
Of these, 50 were blood tests and the rest were urine tests.
"We test all the gold medalists, in some sports we test bronze and silver as well, and in other sports we may test second and third and a random selection from the rest," Al Musleh said.
Despite persistent bad publicity, weightlifting continues to be plagued by doping offenses.
India was suspended from international weightlifting competitions, for the second time in less than two years, after four of its weightlifters failed doping tests during, and just ahead of, the Melbourne Commonwealth Games in March.
India's weightlifting team turned down the opportunity to attend the Asian Games, despite the offer of a dispensation in return for paying a US$50,000 fine.
Balbir Singh Bhatia, Indian weightlifting federation general secretary, last month said the decision to keep the lifters at home was because they were "out of shape."
Two-time Olympic heavyweight champion Hossein Rezazadeh, dubbed the "Iranian Hercules," won weightlifting gold last Wednesday but was only allowed into competition after the Iranian federation paid a fine of US$400,000 to the IWF in lieu of suspension for all of its athletes following adverse findings against some of their teammates.
The World Anti-Doping Agency tested 11 Iranian weightlifters on Sept. 10 in advance of the world championships in the Dominican Republic. Nine tested positive for excessive levels of testosterone.
Eight of the nine weightlifters were suspended for two years and a ninth banned for life -- they did not compete at Doha.
Musallam has rejected suggestions that the latest doping scandal could spell the end of weightlifting as an Asian Games event.
"The weightlifting is on the Asian Games program and the Olympic Games program ... we can't punish all athletes worldwide because of an individual's act," he said on Saturday.
The NBA said was re-evaluating its training program in China following allegations of abuse of young players by local staff and harassment of foreign staffers at a facility in Xinjiang. The comments come after a report by ESPN that quoted unnamed American coaches as saying that Chinese coaches hit young players. One American coach who worked at a camp in Xinjiang complained of harassment by local police, the sports network said. “The allegations in the ESPN article are disturbing,” NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum said in an e-mail statement on Thursday. “We ended our involvement with the basketball academy in Xinjiang in June
Taiwan Steel on Sunday grabbed three points with a narrow 1-0 win against Hang Yuan FC, to move into the No. 2 spot on the Taiwan Football Premier League (TFPL) log, while Taipower FC beat NTUS 2-0 to maintain first place. Taking advantage early in the match of opposition defenders who had not yet settled down, Taiwan Steel’s attacking trio of Wu Chun-ching, Marc Fenelus from the Turks and Caicos Islands, and Benchy Astama from Haiti pushed forward with good passes. After only one minute of play, Fenelus dribbled from the right flank, feeding a short pass inside the penalty area to
LEAVING IT LATE: Rakuten added late runs last night to add to wins on Wednesday against the Brothers and the Lions on Friday that went down to the last batter The Rakuten Monkeys rallied to post three late runs for another close win, prevailing 5-3 over the Uni-President Lions yesterday as Taiwan’s second-half CPBL season got started with lower scoring output, but exciting finishes. It was Rakuten’s third win in a row. In two games this week, they seized victory in dramatic fashion with their last at-bat and have drawn level with the CTBC Brothers on top of the table after yesterday’s results, 0.5 games in front of the Fubon Guardians and 1.5 games ahead of the Lions. It was tied at 1-1 early, with Rakuten hosting the Lions at the Taoyuan Intenational
STAYING COOL: Hamilton said that his ‘heart nearly stopped’ when he noticed the puncture, but he kept going to beat Alain Prost’s total of six home wins in France Lewis Hamilton said he feared he might not make it home when a last lap puncture almost derailed his charge to a record seventh British Grand Prix victory on Sunday. “I didn’t think I would make it round the last two corners,” the world champion said. The front left tire of his Mercedes had delaminated and deflated on his final lap, leaving the six-time world champion to nurse his vehicle to the finish as second-placed Max Verstappen hunted him down. “I just can’t believe it,” Hamilton said. “It was heart-stopping. I backed off and stayed chilled and was so glad it happened on