On May 17th, news broke that several Russian weightlifters — including reigning World Champion and clean & jerk World Record holder Aleksey Lovchev — had received competition bans between four and eight years due to positive doping tests. Around the time of that announcement, the International Olympic Committee released a statement saying they’d be retesting samples from the 2008 Beijing, 2014 Sochi, and 2012 London Olympics; any returning athletes found to have used banned substances in those samples would be barred from competition in Rio.
The IOC’s initial statement retested 454 samples and said up to 31 athletes could be banned from the 2016 Olympic Games. Now, Ren.TV is reporting 14 Russian athletes from Beijing have tested positive, including 10 medal winners — two in the sport of weightlifting.
The weightlifters who tested positive are reportedly Marina Shainova (58kg silver medalist) and Nadezhda Evstyukhina (75kg bronze medalist). Shainova was banned by the IWF in 2013 for two years following a positive test, and it appears she’s since retired from the sport. Now, it looks like her Beijing medal will be rescinded.
Evstyukhina is still an active lifter, most recently winning the 2014 World Weightlifting Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan. (She also competed at the 2012 London Games but bombed out in the snatch.) Evstyukhina — who posts regularly on Instagram — is listed to participate in the 2016 Russian Weightlifting Championships, where the 75kg women are scheduled to lift on Friday, May 27th. It’s unclear if she’ll still compete in that competition.
It also sounds like her medal from Beijing will be rescinded, though it’s unclear what length ban she may receive as a result of the positive test.
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