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Greatest Olympian Of Uzbekistan Busted For Doping

Uzbekistan's greatest ever Olympian Artur Taymazov has been stripped of one of his three gold medals after he failed a doping test at the 2008 Olympics.

The highly decorated wrestling champion from Uzbekistan won gold in the men’s 96-120kg freestyle wrestling at Beijing. The reanalysis of his samples tested positive for the banned steroids Turinabol and Stanozolol (Winstrol). The double world champion also won gold at Athens 2004 and London 2012 and will keep those medals. Currently a Russian politician, Taymazov won three of 10 Olympic medals of Uzbekistan but will now have to hand back his gold from the Beijing Olympics. Taymazov was elected to the 7th State Duma of the Russian Federation representing United Russia in 2016. The wrestler won the first Olympic wrestling medal for Uzbekistan in the 130 kg weight class when he lost to Russian David Musul'bes in the final.

In a statement, the International Olympic Committee said Taymazov was among three athletes who were stripped of Olympic medals for doping with anabolic steroids at the 2008 and 2012 Games.

Bakhtiyar Akhmedov of Russia who lost to Taymazov in the 2008 gold medal match will now be recognized as the Olympic champion. David Musul’bes of Slovakia should be awarded the silver medal and Disney Rodriguez of Cuba should now be awarded the bronze medal.

Ukrainian wrestler Vasyl Fedoryshyn, who won the silver medal in 2012 and Russian weightlifter Svetlana Tzarukaeva who won silver at the 2012 London Games were also asked to give their medals back.

The disqualification of Svetlana leaves Canadian lifter Christine Girard in line to be upgraded from bronze to the gold medal as Maiya Maneza of Kazakhstan, the original winner, was disqualified last year for doping. Entering the Beijing Olympics, Svetlana was the favorite in the 63 kg event but she failed in all three of her attempts at 107 kg in the snatch and did not qualify for the clean and jerk.

Fedoryshyn tested positive for Turianbol and Svetlana also tested positive for the same banned substance.

In another development, World Anti-Doping Agency figures show more than 1,900 athletes were sanctioned for doping in 2015. The 1,929 punishments for failed drug tests were an increase of 14 percent on the previous year. The latest WADA figures are based on 2015 data. The 2015 Anti-Doping Rule Violations Report of WADA shows there were 2,522 "adverse analytical findings" from 229,412 samples, of which 1,929 led to action against athletes. The number of samples taken was 5 percent up on the 217,762 taken in 2014. The figures do not include more than 70,000 tests and 1,200 failed tests which were not processed through ADAMS (the anti-doping administration system of WADA); the system is not used by many professional sports in North America. It was suggested by the WADA figures that Russian athletes had the most anti-doping rule violations in 2015, with 176 and the sport with the most sanctions was bodybuilding, with 270.

WADA President Craig Reedie remarked recent events have shown investigative work is becoming ever more important. Reedie also commented that testing remains vital to detecting doping.

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Albert Wolfgang
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