BERLIN (Reuters) – Six medalists from the 2008 Beijing Games had their medals stripped by the International Olympic Committee on Wednesday after they tested positive for banned substances in re-tests of their samples, the IOC said.
Three other athletes were also disqualified after the re-tests.
Uzbeki Soslan Tigiev, who won a wrestling silver in the men’s freestyle 74kg event, Ukraine weightlifter Olha Korobka, second in the +75kg category and Belarus weightlifter Andrei Rybakou, second in the 85kg category, were among those caught using banned substances.
Kazakh freestyle wrestler Taimuraz Tigiyev, who won silver in the freestyle, Nastassia Novikava of Belarus, a bronze medalist in the 53kg weightlifting event and fellow bronze medalist Ekaterina Volkova, third in the women’s 3000m steeplechase event were the other athletes who lost their medals.
All six failed tests for the steroid turinabol while Novikava and Rybakou also tested positive for stanozolol, also an anabolic steroid that boosts performance and assists in the quicker recovery from injury.
The list of nine doping offenders released by the IOC was completed by Spanish hurdler Josephine Nnkiruka Onyia, Cuban long jumper Wilfredo Martinez and Azeri weightlifter Sardar Hasanov.
A total of 98 samples have come back as positive for banned substances in reanalysis from the 2008 and 2012 Games as the IOC attempted to root out cheats and stop them from going to the Rio Olympics in August.
The IOC stores samples for a decade to test with newer methods or to analyze performance-enhancing substances that have yet to be identified.
(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Pritha Sarkar)