Taiwan's former weightlifting world record holder Lin Tzu-chi has been suspended from competing in the Rio Olympics after she failed a dope test.
In a statement, the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee said a routine dope test of Lin "detected abnormal reaction." The statement added Lin was then temporarily suspended "to ensure spirit of fair competition of the sport" according to World Anti-Doping Agency rules.
Lin was one of the favorites for gold after she raised the world record to 261 kg in winning the 2014 Asian Games gold in Incheon. The 28-year-old is not new to doping allegations and missed the London 2012 Games after failing a test in 2010 and was given a suspension of two years.
Chinese weightlifter Deng Wei took gold in the women's 63kg category after the withdrawal of Lin. Deng went on to break Lin's combined world record with a total of 262kg.
Taiwan Olympic Committee vice president Steven Chen said he takes full responsibility as the leader of Taiwan’s Olympics delegation for a failure to win a medal in the weightlifting event. Chen added the decision to suspend Lin was based on guidance from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Chen remarked Taiwan always follows the highest standards in doping tests to ensure that competition is fair and protect athletes’ rights and therefore we have decided to temporarily suspend Lin Tzu-chi from competition and make it clear to everyone that there is no room for compromise on doping.
Sports Administration Director-General Ho Jow-fei expressed regret over the situation. Jow-fei said Lin was one of the athletes under close watch by the world governing body of weightlifting, the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF), and any tests involving her drew attention from the federation. The Director-General added the positive anti-doping test was conducted in Taiwan before the Olympic Games and sent to Japan for testing.
In another development, the International Weightlifting Federation revealed four Olympic weightlifting gold medalists from Kazakhstan would face sanctions after their doping samples were positive in retests from the 2012 London Games. The four Kazakhs included men's 94-kilogram champion Ilya Ilyin, and women's gold medalists Zulfiya Chinshanlo (53kg), Svetlana Podobedova (75kg), and Maiya Maneza (63kg). Kazakhstan would drop from 12th to 23rd in the 2012 medal standings if all four are disqualified. The Olympic committee of Olympic committee said its athletes recorded five positives in retests from Beijing and London.
The IWF also remarked three more medalists tested positive: Ukraine's Yuliya Kalina, bronze at 58kgs, Russia's Apti Aukhadov, who won silver at 85kgs, and Belarus' Marina Shkermankova, bronze at 69kgs and the doping positive list further includes Boyanka Kostova from Azerbaijan, and Dzina Sazanavets, and Yauheni Zharnasek of Belarus. Marina Shainova, who won silver in the 58-kilogram class, and Nadezhda Evstyukhina, bronze medalist in the 75-kg division, were also reportedly among 10 Russian medallists from Beijing who reportedly tested positive in IOC reanalysis of their stored samples. Vladimir Shainov, Shainova's coach, said the two weightlifters have now also tested positive for Turinabol in their "B" samples. Other Russian medalists from the Beijing Games who were reported to have failed retests included bronze medalist Anna Chicherova, who won the high jump gold at the London 2012 Games, and Yulia Chermoshanskaya, who won gold in the 4x100-meter relay.