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You're reading: Belarus hammer thrower out of Olympics for doping

LONDON — A three-time world champion hammer thrower from Belarus was kicked out of the London Olympics on Friday because an IOC retest found his doing samples from the 2004 Athens Games to be positive.

Ivan Tsikhan, who won the
silver medal in Athens, had been expected to start qualifying for the
hammer throw final but was instead sent home by the IAAF, the Belarus
Olympic committee said Friday.

“We have received a letter from the
international athletics federation that we should take out Ivan Tsikhan
for doping from 2004 in Athens,” said Oleg Grinko, a spokesman for the
Belarus Olympic Committee.

An Olympic official with direct
knowledge of the case said Tsikhan had also been caught in IAAF retests
in 2005, when he won the world title in Helsinki, Finland. The official
spoke on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press because the
results had not been publicly announced.

The IOC decided in May to
retest about 100 samples from the Athens Olympics to catch any drug
cheats who escaped detection at the time.

The IOC stores doping
samples from each Olympics for eight years to allow for retesting. The
statute of limitations for Athens will expire Aug. 29, the date the
games closed in 2004.

“It is just a few weeks until this is
finished. They decided to open it once again and take the medal off Ivan
Tsikhan from the Olympic Games,” said Grinko, adding he did not know
what substances were involved.

Tsikhan also got in trouble after
the 2008 Beijing Games, where he took bronze. He initially was stripped
of his medal after testing positive for abnormal levels of testosterone.

Then,
last year, the Court of Arbitration for Sport reinstated his bronze
medal because samples were mishandled. However, the panel did not clear
the athlete of suspicion, insisting the verdict “should not be
interpreted as an exoneration.”

This year’s retesting only applied
to the Athens Games, where Tsikhan earned silver after gold medalist
Adrian Annus of Hungary was penalized for a doping violation.

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