Earlier this week, the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) and the International Testing Agency (ITA) opened up an anti-doping rule violation investigation of five Russian weightlifters. Just three days later the IWF announced that seven more Russian weightlifters are being investigated for doping causes. That’s twelve potential violations, all from Russia, in less than one week.
The Associated Press reported the additional seven weightlifters, and noted that two of the athletes involved had previously had Olympic medals stripped from them after positive doping tests: Dmitry Lapikov (-105kg) who won a bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and Nadezhda Evstyukina (-75kg) who also had a bronze medal from the 2008 Olympics removed from his record.
Inside the Games reported that the seven athletes include:
- Dmitry Lapikov (-105kg)
- Nadezhda Evstyukina (-75kg)
- Adam Maligov (-94kg)
- Maksim Sheiko (-105kg)
- Yuliya Konovalova (-75kg)
- Magomed Abuev (+105kg)
- Chingiz Mogushkov (+105kg)
Because they’ve been hit with over twenty doping violations since 2008, Russia is one of the countries that will have just one Olympic spot granted to them for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Only having one spot is part of the IWF’s new system which grants countries spots depending on the amount of anti-doping violations that have come to light from 2008 through 2020.
The five Russian athletes that were also suspended provisionally earlier this week:
- David Bedzhanyan (105kg)
- Oleg Chen (69kg)
- Ruslan Albegov (105kg)
- Egor Klimonov (94kg)
- Tima Turieva (63kg)
It’s worth noting that these most recent charges have surfaced from previous investigations involving the Russian doping scandal.
Russia isn’t the only country in headlines this week — on Wednesday, Thailand announced that they would be withdrawing their weightlifting team from the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games after failing eight separate drug tests.
The 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games will run from July 24th through August 9th, and we’re looking forward to seeing who makes the final roster.