3 countries could face bans from Rio Olympics for doping
BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus face one-year suspensions from international weightlifting competition following the retesting of samples from the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, which may prevent lifters from those countries competing at the Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro in August.
The International Weightlifting Federation on Wednesday said the final decisions on the possible bans will be made after the International Olympic Committee makes a definitive ruling on the retests. The three countries are facing bans because three or more positive cases from each were discovered during the retests.
So far, 20 weightlifting cases have been found among the 55 positives in retesting of samples from all sports which the IOC has reported, including 32 from Beijing and 23 from London. Four Olympic gold medalists from Kazakhstan and medalists from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus have already been provisionally suspended by the IWF.
Separately, the IWF also withdrew 11 quota places for 2016 from Russia and five other countries for multiple doping violations at the 2015 world championships in Houston, part of the Olympic qualifying process.
Russia, Azerbaijan, Moldova, North Korea and Kazakhstan will lose two Olympic places, while Belarus will lose one. Earlier, Romania and Uzbekistan were also stripped of one quota each.
The IWF also said it will set new rules about imposing extra sanctions in doping cases and will create an independent commission to investigate countries with three or more doping violations, including the cases from the 2008 and 2012 retests.
The IWF's executive board also said it was ''disappointed'' that Russian federation president Sergei Syrtsov had been named chairman of the European federation's anti-doping commission.
''Given the current environment, the IWF Executive Board strongly suggests that Mr. Syrtsov and the European Weightlifting Federation reconsider the appointment to this particular position,'' the IWF said in a statement.