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Olympic Champion Charged In Weightlifting Doping Case

Olympic Champion Charged In Weightlifting Doping Case

Olympic weightlifting champion Nijat Rahimov has been charged with swapping his urine samples in a doping case that could threaten his gold medal.

LAUSANNE, Switzerland: Olympic weightlifting champion Nijat Rahimov has been charged with swapping his urine samples in a doping case that could threaten his gold medal.

The International Testing Agency said late Monday it charged Rahimov and Dumitru Captari of Romania with an anti-doping rule violation for Urine Substitution which would have occurred over a period of time in 2016.

It is unclear if the allegations include the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, where Rahimov took gold with a world-record lift in the mens 77-kilogram class. Captari competed in the same event.

Rahimovs performance was doubted even at the time in Rio.

Rahimov served a two-year ban from 2013-15 in a doping case while competing for Azerbaijan and only returned to represent Kazakhstan a few months before the Olympics.

The bronze medalist in Rio, Mohamed Mahmoud of Egypt, said of his rivals rapid improvement in a very short time it cannot happen like that.

The ITA said Rahimov and Captari have been provisionally suspended while disciplinary cases are prosecuted.

Weightliftings widespread doping and corruption issues were exposed one year ago by German broadcaster ARD. It led to the ousting of long-time International Weightlifting Federation president Tamas Ajn, who also lost his honorary membership of the International Olympic Committee.

The ARD program filmed Thailand lifter Rattikan Gulnoi, a bronze medalist at the 2012 London Olympics, talking about doping with steroids.

Gulnoi has now been charged with a doping violation, the ITA said.

Amid fallout from the German broadcast, the IWF hired doping investigator Richard McLaren to examine the sports problems.

The review of these 146 files discovered in the wake of the McLaren report is progressing and the ITA should be able to complete it and resolve the pending matters by spring 2021, the Lausanne-based agency said.

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first published:January 19, 2021, 15:00 IST