- Title: BELARUS: ATHLETICS: Belarus admits Olympic gold winner took doping
- Date: 11th September 2012
- Summary: MINSK, BELARUS (FILE - AUGUST 23, 2012) (REUTERS) BELARUSSIAN OLYMPIC ATHLETES STANDING AS BELARUSSIAN PRESIDENT ALEXANDER LUKASHENKO ENTERS BELARUSSIAN COAT OF ARMS ON WALL BELARUSSIAN SHOTPUTTER NADZEYA OSTAPCHUK SITTING AT TABLE ATHLETES LISTENING, APPLAUDING VARIOUS OF OSTAPCHUK WALKING TO LUKASHENKO AND GETTING MEDAL PHOTOGRAPHERS OSTAPCHUK WATCHING, LISTENING LUKASHENKO AWARDING ATHLETE
- Embargoed: 26th September 2012 13:00
- Location: Belarus
- Country: Belarus
- Topics: Sports
- Reuters ID: LVAABYCISX2KXPTOGKX5SDZ2PEQM
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: Belarus shotputter Nadzeya Ostapchuk, who was stripped of her London Olympic gold medal after testing positive for a banned steroid, had really taken doping, however being unaware of it, head of Belarus anti-doping body Alexander Vankhadlo said on Tuesday (September 11).
"According to the results of investigation and the athlete's coach Yefimov Alexander Nikolayevich's confession it was discovered that on July 30, after the last doping test, he added some forbidden substance into the Ostapchuk's meals - as he was worried that the athlete would eventually show poor results - without letting her know about it," Vankhadlo said on Tuesday.
Two urine samples taken from Ostapchuk before and after her win tested positive for metenolone, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said in a statement the day after the Games ended. Belarus had been ordered to return Ostapchuk's gold medal which had to be awarded to New Zealand's Valerie Adams.
Vankhadlo said the investigation results proved that the case was an exceptional one and Ostapchuk could not be found guilty of knowingly taking doping but she nevertheless should take the consequences.
"There was no substantial guilt or negligence in what the athlete has done as she was absolutely unaware of it, but we take into account that according to the world anti-doping codex and the rules of the International Athletics Federation, the athletes - and only them - are responsible for the substances which get into their organism. We decided to disqualify Ostapchuk for one year," he said adding that according to the codex the punishment might be reduced.
Ostapchuk in August denied any wrongdoing, saying she would fight to clear her name.
Neither she, nor her coach were available for comments on Monday.
Ostapchuk, who had won the gold with a throw of 21.36 metres, was world champion in 2005 and European champion two years ago. In July, at a meeting in Minsk, she threw 21.58, the best outdoor distance in the world since 1998.
In August, Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko awarded his country's Olympic medalists, including Ostapchuk, with state awards, letters of thanks and honorary titles.
Each athlete, wearing creme Belarussian linen jackets embroidered with the state seal, was presented a medal and bouquet by Lukashenko.
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