Update: Oleksiy Torokhtiy has responded to recent developments in his case in an Instagram post, which we’ve embedded at the bottom of this article. We’ve also included the text of his statement.
Earlier today, CBC announced Oleksiy Torokhtiy has officially been stripped of his gold medal from the 2012 Olympic Games.
Ukrainian weightlifter Oleksiy Torokhtiy took home the gold medal in the -105kg weight class at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, United Kingdom. Drug retests were conducted by the International Weightlifting Federation and their results were shared with the public in December of 2018. Torokhtiy was one of five athletes to test positive for the banned substance dehydrochloromethyltestosterone, more commonly known for its brand name, turinabol, an anabolic agent.
The IWF handed Torokhtiy a mandatory provisional suspension following his failed drug retest. The International Olympic Committee announced that Torokhtiy would be stripped of his 2012 Olympic gold medal and receive a two-year ban backdated to start when he was first suspended by the IWF in 2018. The reallocation of Torokhtiy’s Olympic medal has yet to be ratified by the IOC.
Torokhtiy has stood on the podium twice at the European Weightlifting Championships and earned a bronze medal at the 2011 World Weightlifting Championships in Paris, France. He competed in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China to a 10th place finish.
Since his 2012 Olympic win, Torokhtiy stopped competing but maintained a presence in the sport as the vice-president of the Ukrainian Weightlifting Federation, a member of the European Weightlifting Federation Executive Committee, and Deputy Chairman of Ukrainian National Olympic Commіttee Athletes Commission.
Due to his doping ban, Torokhtiy is barred from holding any position in these governing bodies.
In 2016, the IOC decided to retest drug samples from the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. These retests have found positive results for banned substances for five different gold medalists from the 2012 Olympics as well as more than four dozen weightlifters. The athletes have since been handed disqualifications and consequential punishment.
The IOC contemplated removing weightlifting as an Olympic sport due to the high volume of failed drug tests. The IWF announced in March that they would adopt a stricter drug testing policy to appease the IOC.
Statement from Oleksiy Toroktiy:
“This year for the first time I realized the importance of celebrating the birthday of my Olympic gold medal!
The 6th of August 2012 was a historic day for me and now this date is also special for my family and team.
This day 6 years ago gave me an assessment of what was done for the entire period of my sports career. This day gave me the confidence in myself and in my strength!
I can positively say that since that moment I got a few more important victories, but this time not on the weightlifting platform.
My experience in sports turned out to be a good teacher for life:
I know how important it is to be a team and it inspires me to be the best husband and father;
I know how important it is to never give up and it gives me the strength in my business;
I know how important it is to have a good mentor and this helps me in my seminars and training;
I know how important details are in achieving success and it inspires me to create inspiring sportswear.
In these 6 years I’ve become a husband, a father, a coach, and a founder of 2 international sports brands and I know that life has prepared a lot more new roles for me. I’m grateful that I have someone to share my path with.
Feature image from Oleksiy Torokhtiy’s Instagram page: @torokhtiy