(ATR) The Court of Arbitration for Sport dismissed appeals filed by two Chinese female weightlifters stripped of their gold medals at Beijing 2008 for doping.
Cao Lei stripped of gold medal (IWF)
The Disciplinary Commission of the IOC had disqualified Liu Chunhong in the 69-kilogram category and Cao Lei from the 75-kilogram event after both tested positive last year in reanalysis of their samples from Beijing.
The IOC’s website currently shows only a silver medalist for both classes. That’s because the bronze medalists from the events have previously been disqualified.
In the women’s 69kg, original bronze medalist Nataliya Davydova of Ukraine was stripped of her medal after a positive test of her 2008 sample. Fourth-place finisher Leydi Solis of Colombia, who was in line to be awarded the bronze, will now be moved up to silver with Oksana Slivenko of Russia being upgraded from silver to the gold.
In the 75kg event, original bronze medalist Nadezhda Evstyukhina of Russia was stripped of her medal following a positive anti-doping test of her 2008 sample. Lidia Valentin of Spain, who was already moved up to the bronze from fifth after Evstyukhina and fourth place finisher Iryna Kulesha of Belarus were disqualified for doping, is now in line for silver with Alla Vazhenina of Kazakhstan the new gold medalist.
About 50 weightlifters have returned positive results in retesting from Beijing 2008 and London 2012.
The sport is facing the possibility of being booted from the Olympic program for 2024 if the International Weightlifting Federation can’t curb its doping crisis.
IOC president Thomas Bach put the IWF on notice in a press conference in June, saying that it had “until December 2017 to deliver a satisfactory report to the IOC on how they will address the massive doping problem this sport is facing.”
Weightlifting was also one of the federations hit hardest by cutbacks stemming from the IOC’s efforts to promote gender equality. The sport lost 64 athlete allocations for Tokyo 2020.
Homepage photo: Getty Images
Written by Gerard Farek
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