December 24, 2015

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) World champion weightlifter Aleksei Lovchev has been provisionally suspended after failing a drug test, the International Weightlifting Federation said Thursday.

The Russian tested positive for a banned substance after last month's world championships in Houston, where he broke the clean-and-jerk and total world records on his way to the overall title in the 105 kilogram-plus category.

Russia's sports minister Vitaly Mutko claimed the banned substance, the growth hormone ipamorelin, was in a medicine he had been cleared to use.

The IWF said Lovchev's compatriots Aleksei Kosov, Olga Zubova and Olga Afanaseva also failed tests.

Three other medalists - North Korea's Kim Kwang-song and Kazakhstan's Almas Uteshov and Zhassulan Kyrdyrbayev - were among 24 adverse findings from the competition, the IWF reported.

(This story has been corrected to show Kim Kwang-song is from North Korea, not South Korea)

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