(Originally posted Mar 15, 2014. Jump to the latest update)
Five Azerbaijani medalists from the 2013 Europeans have been disqualified and stripped off their medals. (via)
Who? Valentin Hristov (62kg), Silvia Angelova (48kg), Intigam Zairov (94 kg), Sardar Gasanov (69) and Zulfugar Suleymanov (62 kg).
Zlatan Vanev, the head coach of team Azerbaijan said: “I’m in shock, I do not know what to tell you.”
He did not get any official documents. “This is a complete mystery, because after the 2013 Europeans our weightlifters participated in several tournaments without any problems. You know that if there was doping, we would not have been allowed.”
On Tuesday (18.03.2014) he will meet the officials to get clarity.
I will update this post as more news trickles in.
Update 18.03.2014: So far there is one report calling it a “Doping Scandal”.
The entire team has been banned from participating in the 2014 European Championships.
In addition, it is expected that the Weightlifting Federation of Azerbaijan will be fined up to 500,000 euros, and Azerbaijani athletes will be disqualified for a period of 2 to 4 years.
Update 19.03.2014 #1: Finally a word from the International Weightlifting Federation.
Accordingly, lifters found positive at the 2013 European Championships and subsequently in out-of-competition testing have been sanctioned and the results of the 2013 Championships have been updated. Both the competitors concerned and the Azerbaijan Weightlifting Federation have received punishment following the sanctions stipulated in the IWF Anti-Doping Policy.
Update 19.03.2014 #2: They are now on the IWF Sanctioned athletes page.
9 Athletes tested positive for Dehydromethyltestosterone. Two year bans for everyone except Zulfuqar Suleymanov, who gets a lifetime ban (unless he pulls an Igor Bour), because this is his 2nd doping violation.
As a consequence Valentin Hristov was also disqualified from the 2013 Worlds.
Update 12.04.2014: New additions to the Sanctioned Athletes page.
The list now shows 18 AZE bans!
Everybody on team Azerbaijan got banned. Among them Firidun Guliyev (194kg C&J at 69kg Jr world record in Poland 2013) and Cristina Iovu who not too long ago switched from Moldova to Azerbaijan.
Meanwhile in Belarus…
Andrei Aramnau may be lifting at the 2014 Europeans. (via)
He told the coaching staff that he wants a last chance and will work in good faith. If there is one breach of discipline he will gather his belongings and team, not to interfere with its preparation.
Meanwhile in Poland …
At a competition in Poland Adrian Zielinski lifted 175+215 weighing in at 95.8kg. (via)
So I guess it’s safe to say that like Apti Aukhadov (and Ilya Ilyin), he also moved up a weight class.
Weightlifting News: Team Azerbaijan Banned *Update* 18 Athletes is a post by Gregor Winter from All Things Gym.