Kazakh Olympic weightlifting star Ilyin among seven disqualified for doping

Lausanne (AFP) –


Two-time Olympic weightlifting gold medallist Ilya Ilyin of Kazakhstan was among seven athletes disqualified from the 2008 and 2012 Games for doping offences on Friday, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced.

Ilyin was ordered to return his gold medals for winning in the 94kg category in Beijing and in London after re-analysis of stored samples revealed positive tests for banned substances including the anabolic steroid stanozolol.

The 28-year-old had already been banned by the sport's governing body in June for the failed 2012 test.

As a result of Friday's announcement, the podium for the 94kg category in London has now been completely wiped out after silver medallist Alexandr Ivanov of Russia and Moldova's Anatoli Ciricu, who took bronze, were disqualified earlier this week.

Aksana Miankova of Belarus, who won the women's hammer title in Beijing, was also disqualified and ordered to return her gold medal after testing positive for steroid use. She was also disqualified from the 2012 Games, where she came in seventh.

Her compatriot Natallia Mikhnevich, who took silver in the women's shot put in 2008, was also disqualified.

Others to be disqualified were Pavel Lyzhyn of Belarus, who finished fourth in the men's shot put in 2008; Sviatlana Usovich of Belarus, who competed in the women's 800 metres in Beijing; Boyanka Kostova of Azerbaijan, who took part in the women's 58kg weightlifting in London, and Nastassia Mironchyk-Ivanova, who came seventh in the women's long jump in 2012.

The IOC has already re-tested 1,243 samples from the 2008 and 2012 Olympics based on improved testing methods.

The build-up to the 2016 Rio Games was overshadowed after a report found evidence of a state-sponsored doping programme in Russian sport.

Russia narrowly escaped a blanket ban from Rio when the IOC left it up to international sports federations to determine which Russians were eligible to compete while granting itself a final say.