Weightlifter Oleksiy Torokhtiy Officially Stripped of Gold Medal From 2012 Olympic Games

The 2012 London Games champion has officially been stripped of his gold medal after failing a drug retest.

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.

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#Weightlifting program for this week: MONDAY: Rowing or running – 5min #Hyperextension – 10*3sets #MuscleSnatch – 4r*4s up to 50% #PowerSnatch – 2r*5s up to 70% #SnatchPull – 2r*3s up to 85% #BackSquat – 3r*3s up to 75% #Stretching – 10min —— WEDNESDAY: Rowing or running – 5min #GoodMorning – 8*3s up to (15-30kg) #Clean+Fr.Squat+Jerk – 2+2+2*3s up to 70% #FrontSquat – 3r*3s up to 80% #Stretching – 10min —— FRIDAY: Rowing or running – 5min #Hyperextension – 3*10reps #HangSnatch – 3*2r up to 75% #Clean – 2*2r up to 80% #BackSquat – 4*4r up to 70% #Stretching – 10min —— SATURDAY: Rowing or running – 5min #Hyperextension – 3*10reps #PushPress – 4*4r up to 60% #CleanPull – 4*3r up to 90% #BoxJumps – 3*10r ———————— Upload your video to instagram with the hashtag #Torokhtiy_GANG @torokhtiy and I will check your lift. ———————— All SNATCH exercises – count from 1RM of SNATCH Cleans/Jerks exercise – count from 1RM of C&J Back Squats – count from 1RM of BS Front Squat – count from 1RM of FS

A post shared by Oleksiy TOROKHTIY (UKR🇺🇦) (@torokhtiy) on

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. 

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A year ago, December 22, I put up a post letting everyone know that after six and a half years, ITA retested my samples from the 2012 Olympic Games and IOC notified me that they found a banned substance. As I said in my earlier post, I passed two anti-doping tests, one prior to the Olympics and one right after them and for over six and a half years my results were considered negative! In a year since, nothing changed but now I have a lot more information. . In February 2019 sample "B" was tested as well as a control for more information. According to a statement from an independent expert, the amount of the substance found was so small that it could have been equal to a single ingestion through food or a supplement and could not have had any influence on the results. Trying to check all supplements used over seven years ago would be impossible at this point and absolutely pointless as it would still show in the lab tests. By the rules of the Olympic Committee, ANY amount is equal to automatic disqualification. . By the rules of IOC and IWF, my results from the 2012 Olympics were void. . How do I feel about this? A year ago I was shocked and sad due to these findings but at this moment I understand that life goes on and I'm focusing on new projects and of course my family. . What do I think about all this? I think I'll have to put that in my book. All I know is that no matter what, I will always share my knowledge and the love of the sport! ——— Год назад, 22 декабря 2018 года, я опубликовал пост о том, что ITA произвела перепроверку моих допинг проб c Олимпийских игр 2012 (6,5 лет спустя) и по результатам проверки IOC уведомил меня о нарушении антидопинговых правил. Как я сообщал ранее, на Олимпийских играх 2012 года я проходил предсоревновательный и после соревновательный допинг контроль. На протяжении всех 12 лет выступлений на международной арене, все результаты моих допинг тестов были отрицательными. В феврале 2019 года было произведено вскрытие пробы «B» для получения детальной информации. Запрещенное вещество найдено в ничтожной концентрации и по оценке независимого эксперта сравнимо с … (продолжение на моей странице в Facebook).

A post shared by Oleksiy TOROKHTIY (UKR🇺🇦) (@torokhtiy) on

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.
Thank you!”

Feature image from Oleksiy Torokhtiy’s Instagram page: @torokhtiy

Phil Blechman

Phil Blechman

Phil is a native New Yorker passionate about storytelling, bodybuilding, and game design. He holds a BFA from Syracuse University.

Before becoming a Staff Writer at BarBend, Phil worked on the creative team and as on-air talent at World Wrestling Entertainment, as a narrator for Audible.com with over a dozen titles, and as a producer, director, and playwright Off-Broadway in New York City where he worked for The Araca Group and co-founded IJB Theatrical Productions. He can be heard as a voice performer for Just Press Playhouse audio productions and as a co-host of the Eternal Durdles podcast.

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