All Things Gym



11 Bulgarian Weightlifters Test Positive *Update* Bulgaria Banned from Olympics


(Original Post from March 2015)

Here we go again

Reuters reports that 11 Bulgarian weightlifters tested positive two weeks ago during a training camp for the 2015 Europeans.

Same deal as in 2008, when 11 Bulgarians tested positive for methandienone (Dianabol).


Update 29.01.2019: The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has ruled that the Bulgarian Weightlifting Federation remains banned from the upcoming Olympic games in Rio. In return they don’t have to pay the $500000 US fine. (via)

Update 15.12.2015: Bulgaria has appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), the decision is expected by the end of January 2016. Earlier this year they said they wanted to sue the IWF because they had proved that the supplements were contaminated. (via & via).

Update 06.11.2015: Bulgaria threatened to be excluded from IWF (via).

Bulgaria has to pay $500.000 US. This will be officially announced November 18-19th. If they don’t pay the fine. Bulgarian weightlifters will not be allowed to compete in IWF events.

The first part of the fine has to be paid within 6 months. If not the country ban will kick in, which in turn would lead to the Bulgarian WL federation losing their license from the ministry of sports.

The ministry of sports indicated that it doesn’t want to any of this. So the Federation is looking for sponsors.

Update 17.06.2015: IWF hands out Minimum penalties (via).

Instead of 4 year bans for first offenses and a lifetime bans second offenses, the Bulgarians who tested positive will receive 9 and 18 months respectively.

The reduced penalties are because they made a convincing point that the supplements they took were tainted.

The Bulgarians still have the option to appeal at the CAS (so as to reduce the huge fines).


Update 23.04.2015: The WADA lab in Cologne supposedly confirmed the contaminated supplements (“Trybest”). (via)

They looked at three samples, one that was used by the team in Bulgaria, one which was commercially available and sent in for analysis by the Bulgarian Federation and a third which was purchased over the Internet from within the laboratory. Results for all three have been identical.

Update 31.03.2015: Ivan did 177+213 at the Bulgarian nationals, shortly before the test results were published (via).

Update 26.03.2015: Bulgaria won’t pay the fines. That means it’s likely there will be no Bulgarian Weightlifters at the Rio Olympics :( (via)

Generally it’s $50000 US per positive athlete. The maximum is $500000 US when 9 or more athletes get caught (as stated in the IWF Anti Doping Policy PDF §12.3.1).

The article mentions that with them the sanctions may be much harsher (600000 to 1 Million) because they are repeat offenders.

Not sure how they arrive at those numbers as there is nothing in rules about that.

The minister of sports Krasen Kralev already said the the state won’t pay the fine. Since the Bulgarian weightlifting federation has no other revenues the fate of the team is pretty clear.

Update 21.03.2015: Sports minister says funding for the Bulgarian weightlifting federation shall be suspended until the case is closed (via).

What did they take? Stanozolol
Male Lifters:

Female Lifters:

PS: Still taking bets on when weightlifting world records will be reset once again 😉

Update 21.03.2015: Not related to this, but Milen Dobrev was found dead in his apartment. He was only 35. (via)

11 Bulgarian Weightlifters Test Positive *Update* Bulgaria Banned from Olympics is a post by Gregor Winter from All Things Gym.