IOC strips Ukrainian javelin thrower of 2012 silver medal

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RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) A Ukrainian javelin thrower was stripped of his silver medal from the 2012 London Olympics on Tuesday, the latest athlete disqualified after the retesting of stored doping samples.

Oleksandr Pyatnytsya tested positive for the steroid turinabol and was retroactively disqualified from the London Games and ordered to return his medal, the International Olympic Committee said.

The 31-year-old Ukrainian was one of four more athletes sanctioned Tuesday by the IOC after retests of stored samples from London and the 2008 Beijing Games. A total of 98 athletes have been caught in retests so far.

Also disqualified were Turkish weightlifter Nurcan Taylan, Armenian weightlifter Hripsime Khurshudyan and Belarusian hammer thrower Pavel Kryvitski. None of those were medalists.

The IOC stores doping samples for 10 years so they can be retested when new methods become available, meaning drug cheats who escaped detection at the time can be caught years later.

The IAAF was asked to consider further sanctions against Pyatnytsya, who could face a two-year ban.

Pyatnytsya had a throw of 84.51 meters in London, just 7 centimeters short of the winning throw of gold medalist Keshorn Walcott of Trinidad & Tobago.

Finland's Antti Ruuskanen is in line to be bumped from third place to the silver medal, with Vitezslav Vesely of the Czech Republic going from fourth place to the bronze medal.

In the three other cases announced Tuesday:

- Taylan, who competed in the women's 48-kilogram division in weightlifting in Beijing but did not finish, tested positive for the steroid stanozolol.

- Khurshudyan, who finished 11th in the women's 75-kg event in Beijing, also tested positive for stanozolol.

- Kryvitski, the 28th-place finisher in the men's hammer throw in London, tested positive for turinabol.

Turinabol and stanozolol are both traditional steroids that go back decades. Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson tested positive for stanozolol at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, where he was stripped of the gold medal in the 100 meters.

The IOC has been using a new test that detects the use of steroids going back weeks and months, rather than just days.

Last month, the IOC announced that 45 more athletes, including 31 medalists, were caught after retesting of Beijing and London samples. That was on top of the 53 announced previously.

Tuesday's announcement brings to six the number of athletes formally disqualified so far.

The retesting program has targeted athletes who were in contention to compete at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, but was also widened to cover many medalists. A total of 1,243 samples have been retested so far in the first two waves of the reanalysis program, with two other rounds of testing still to come.