It’s Official: IWF Suspends Ilya Ilyin, Other Olympic Champions

In the culmination of many rumors circulating over the past month — and a statement from IWF President Dr. Tamas Ajan while visiting Iran for the Fajr Cup — the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) has finally released their official announcement on the London retests: 10 weightlifters from the 2012 Games had samples test positive after retests, and they have already received mandatory provisional suspensions.

The lifters implicated include five champions from the 2012 London Olympics. And to the dismay of weightlifting fans worldwide, one of those lifters is Kazakhstan’s Ilya Ilyin, who also won gold at the 2008 Beijing Games.

The full list of lifters who received suspensions after the London retest is below.

Apti Aukhadov (Russia) (London Games Silver Medalist)

Boyanka Kostova (Azerbaijan) (2015 World Weightlifting Champion)

Svetlana Podobedova (Kazakhstan) (London Games Champion)

Dzina Sazanavets (Belarus)

Maryna Shkermankova (Belarus) (London Games Bronze Medalist)

Yuliya Kalina (Ukraine) (London Games Bronze Medalist)

Yauheni Zharnasek (Belarus)

Maiya Maneza (Kazakhstan) (London Games Champion)

Ilya Ilyin (Kazakhstan) (London Games Champion)

Zulfiya Chinshanlo (Kazakhstan) (London Games Champion)

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) conducted the reanalyses. Their cases are not officially closed yet, and the athletes can appeal the decisions.

Each of the lifters in the disclosure tested positive for an anabolic agent. The full list of positives and the substances detected are listed below in a screenshot from the IWF disclosure.

IWF Public Disclosure

While there is an appeals process in place, it’s not a short procedure. It’s likely each of these athletes will be barred from competing in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, and if the test results are upheld, they’ll receive competition bans of at least two years each.

The IWF has also announced retesting of samples from Beijing but has yet to release the results. Sources indicate ten lifters from Beijing have also come up positive during the retests from that iteration of the Olympic Games.

We’ll update this article regularly as more information emerges.

David Tao

David Tao

BarBend's Co-Founder and Editorial Director, David is a veteran of the health & fitness industry, with nearly a decade of experience building and running editorial teams in the space. He also serves as a color commentator for both National and International weightlifting competitions, many through USA Weightlifting. David graduated from Harvard University and served for several years as Editorial Director/Chief Content Officer of Greatist.com. In addition to his work in the health & fitness industry, David has been a writer for Fortune and Fortune.com, as well as a contributor to Forbes.com, Slate, and numerous other outlets across the web and in print. He's especially passionate about the intersection of strength sports and quality, professional media coverage — overlapping interests shared by the BarBend editorial team and which drive their content strategy each and every day. David is a proud Kentucky native. In his free time, David is a voiceover actor and can be heard in animated films, independent shorts, music videos, commercials, and podcasts.

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