In a public disclosure released on the International Weightlifting Federation’s (IWF) website, it was announced that Norik Vardanian, a 94kg lifter who has competed internationally for both the United States and Armenia, has tested positive for an anabolic agent.
From the disclosure:
The IWF reports that sample of Mr. VARDANYAN Norik (ARM) has returned an Adverse Analytical Finding for Dehydrochlormethyltestosterone (S1.1 Anabolic Agents). As a consequence, the athlete is provisionally suspended in view of a potential anti-doping rule violation.
Vardanian — who spells his name as such on Instagram — competed in the 2012 London Olympic Games representing Armenia in the men’s 94kg class. After recent doping retests from those Games, his placing in London had moved up to 5th.
Update: Though it was initially unclear from the public disclosure exactly when the positive sample was taken, the IWF has confirmed in an updated disclosure that it came after sample retests from the 2012 London Olympics. Vardanian competed for Armenia in that competition and was training in Armenia in the lead up to London.
Vardanian finished second at the 2015 Pan American Games representing the United States. He’s the current American Record Holder in the snatch — 172kg — which he set at the 2016 Olympic Trials in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Vardanian is the son of Olympic Champion weightlifter Yurik Vardanyan, considered by many to be one of the best athletes in the history of the sport.
Featured image: @norikvardanian on Instagram