Ruslan Albegov Provisionally Suspended for Potential Anti-Doping Violation

Russian superheavyweight weightlifter Ruslan Albegov has been provisionally suspended from international weightlifting competition after being charged by the IWF with an anti-doping policy violation.

Little information has been put forth by the IWF about the circumstances surrounding the suspension. The organization has only published a short article over on their website that reads,

IWF reports that Mr. Ruslan ALBEGOV (RUS) has been charged with the violation of Article 2.2 of the IWF Anti-Doping Policy.

As a consequence, the Athlete is provisionally suspended in view of a potential anti-doping rule violation.

In any case where it is determined that the athlete did not commit an anti-doping rule violation, the relevant decision will also be published.

IWF will not make any further comments on the case until it is closed.

Albegov is one of Russia’s strongest weightlifters. He won bronze at the London Olympics with a 448kg total (a 208kg snatch and 240kg clean & jerk) and he made a clean & jerk of 255 kilograms at last year’s Russian Weightlifting Championships, which you can watch below.

Article 2.2 of the IWF’s Anti-Doping Policy, referred to in their statement above, is “Use or Attempted Use by an Athlete of a Prohibited Substance or a Prohibited Method.” It’s important to note that a violation of this rule doesn’t necessarily mean a positive doping test — it’s written that a violation “may be established by any reliable means” such as,

(…) admissions by the Athlete, witness statements, documentary evidence, conclusions drawn from longitudinal profiling, including data collected as part of the Athlete Biological Passport, or other analytical information.

You may be wondering why the IWF would suspend a Russian athlete when Russia — along with China, Kazakhstan, and six other federations — is already in the midst of a one-year suspension due to doping retests from the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.

The difference is that here, the individual has been suspended. Albegov’s suspension could last longer than Russia’s suspension, plus an individual’s previous suspensions count when the IWF issues repercussions, meaning this would make future penalties harsher if Albegov’s suspension is upheld.

Featured image via @sattsay on Instagram.