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Olympic Weightlifting Champion Fails Doping Test

Kim Un-guk of North Korea has been suspended by the International Weightlifting Federation after he failed doping tests at the World Championships. The positive test of Kim was announced alongside those of Azerbaijan’s Valentin Hristov and Elkhan Aligulizada.

Sazali Samad

Kim finished runner-up in the 62kg division behind China’s Lijun Chen at the world championships, which were held from 20-28 November in Houston and ahead of Hristov, who tested positive for the anabolic steroid Nandrolone. Hristov had only returned in April 2015 to competition after serving a doping ban of two years.

The International Weightlifting Federation suspended four other athletes this week and the list may find some new names as the world governing body of weightlifting has yet to complete testing for all samples collected during the championships.

The Olympic gold medalist, who won gold at the 2012 Olympics in London, setting a world record total in the men’s 62kg division, tested positive for Letrozole, which is a banned substance and classified as a hormone and metabolic modulator. The weightlifter was one of three North Koreans to win weightlifting gold medals in London. North Korea won 12 gold medals at last year’s world championships in Kazakhstan – an unprecedented sporting success for the country.

In another development, the Malaysian Bodybuilding Federation has announced that Sazali Samad failed an out-of-competition doping test conducted by the National Anti-Doping Agency of Malaysia (Adamas) in September. The 10-time Mr. Universe winner tested positive for anabolic steroids in his system. Samad received a suspension of four years that was backdated to September 22, the day on which the positive result was received. Malaysia's most successful bodybuilder won his 10th Mr. Universe title at the World Bodybuilding and Fitness Physique (WBFP) Championships in Mumbai, India, from December 5-10, 2014.Sazali, who won the world title in six consecutive years, remarked at that time that his wins are all because of his hard work and sacrifices. Grappling with injury in the knee and shoulder, Sazali added he has been active in bodybuilding for 27 years and can be proud of his achievements.

MBF deputy president Datuk Dr Ahmad Badrus Othman did not revealed name of the steroid but said that Sazali had inadvertently consumed a supplement containing the banned substance. At a press conference organized by MBF at the Desa Tasik Sports Complex, Badrus said Sazali had been consuming the supplement for two or three months prior to the test that was conducted on September 1.

The Malaysian Bodybuilding Federation deputy president added the supplement was an updated version of one he had already been taking in the past and he overlooked the fact that it contained the banned substance. Badrus added it is unfortunate as he has contributed a lot to the sport in the country and added Sazali has never failed a doping test before. It was added by the Malaysian Bodybuilding Federation deputy president that the sample was taken out-of-competition and the star bodybuilder will not be stripped of the titles he had won prior to the test.

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Written by
Albert Wolfgang is a professional medical writer with over 20 years of experience. He hold multiple personal training certifications, including the coveted NASM and AFAA certificates. He graduated with honors with a B.S. and M.S. in biochemistry with a minor in physical studies. Albert and his team have trained over 100 IFBB professional bodybuilders, including Hollywood stars and many up and coming fitness stars.

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