Belarus Stripped of Gold for Doping
Published: August 15, 2012 (Issue # 1722)
LONDON — Shot putter Nadzeya Ostapchuk of Belarus became the first athlete to be stripped of a medal at the London Olympics after her gold was withdrawn Monday for doping.
Valerie Adams of New Zealand was awarded the gold, and Yevgenia Kolodko of Russia was bumped up to silver. Fourth-place finisher Gong Lijiao of China was moved up to bronze.
The International Olympic Committee said Ostapchuk tested positive for the steroid metenolone. She won the shot put exactly a week earlier. The IOC said she was tested the day before her competition and again following the event. Both samples were positive.
“The [Olympic committee] of Belarus is ordered to return to the IOC, as soon as possible, the medal, diploma and medalist pin awarded to the athlete in relation to the above-noted event,” the IOC said in a statement.
The announcement came hours after the flame was extinguished at the closing ceremony with athletes and officials heading out of London. A day earlier, IOC President Jacques Rogge had proclaimed the fight against doping a success.
The Belarussian team had already sent home hammer thrower Ivan Tsikhan because of suspicions over a sample provided after his silver-medal performance at the 2004 Athens Games.
Besides Ostapchuk, only one athlete tested positive for a banned substance after competing. U.S. judo fighter Nick Delpopolo was cited for traces of marijuana in his urine sample.
The IOC had said this would be its most extensive Olympic anti-doping program. It took almost 6,000 urine and blood samples, including no-notice tests ahead of athletes competing.