Work in Sports
Armenian lifter, Norwegian wrestler test positive for drugsPosted: Saturday September 30, 2000 7:44 PM
Updated: Thursday November 09, 2000 11:08 AM
SYDNEY, Australia (CNNSI.com) -- Armenian Ashot Daneilyan, who won bronze in the heavyweight division, has tested positive for steroids. On the final day of competition, the IOC said it had stripped the medal from Daneilyan.
Two other non-medalists also were nabbed for drugs.
Ashot Danielyan, who lifted a total of 1,025 pounds (465 kilograms), tested positive for nandrolone after his competition Tuesday, the final day of weightlifting.
He was the fourth weightlifter to test positive at the Games, but the first from a country other than Bulgaria. The International Weightlifting Federation expelled the Bulgarian team from the games, although one member later was allowed to compete under an arbitration court ruling.
IOC medical commission chairman Prince Alexander de Merode said a Greco-Roman wrestler, Fritz Aanes of Norway, also tested positive for nandrolone after losing a bronze-medal match Wednesday.
De Merode also formally announced that Russian 400-meter runner Svetlana Pospelova tested positive for the steroid stanozolol in an out-of-competition test at the Games.
A total of eight athletes now have tested positive in Sydney since the Games began Sept. 16, with more than 50 others caught in pre-Games tests around the world.
De Merode said 1,946 in-competition urine tests had been conducted at the Games, in addition to 404 out-of-competition urine tests and 313 blood-urine tests for EPO, conducted both in and out of competition. EPO, which boosts endurance through production of red blood cells to carry oxygen, is the object of testing at the Olympics for the first time.
He said more tests would be conducted throughout the final day of competition, when 24 gold medals were to be awarded before the Closing Ceremonies.
Although the eight drug positives are four times the two drug failures recorded at the Atlanta Games in 1996 and the most at a Summer Games since 10 in Seoul in 1988, De Merode said he did not think the percentage of drug positives in Sydney was higher than at other Games "because of more tests for EPO and probably the amount of out-of-competition testing."
Pospelova had already returned to Russia when the IOC medical commission received the test result. De Merode said the information had been turned over to the International Amateur Athletics Federation, track's world governing body, for further action.
Pospelova faces a two-year ban if the IAAF finds her guilty of a doping offense.
Arne Ljungqvist, the anti-doping chief of the International Amateur Athletic Federation, said federation rules require Pospelova be given the opportunity to explain herself before a ruling is considered against her.
He said he didn't think she'd been notified of the positive result.
Aanes competes for Norway but lives in Sweden, and de Merode said he claimed the nandrolone was contained in a dietary supplement manufactured in Utah.
"We don't consider this an excuse," the IOC drug chief said. "It will be analyzed."
Nandrolone has been the drug found in three of the Sydney positives and also is at the heart of the case of C.J. Hunter, the U.S. shot-put world champion and husband of triple gold medalist Marion Jones.
Hunter, who withdrew from the U.S. Olympic team just before the Games citing a knee injury, flunked four tests for nandrolone in Europe over the summer, including three out-of-competition exams. He also said the substance -- found in levels 1,000 times the permitted ceiling -- had come from nutritional supplements.
Danielyan finished third in the heavyweight class behind Iran's Hossein Rezazadeh and silver-medalist Ronny Weller of Germany. The bronze now will go to Andrei Chemerkin.
Pospelova was the European indoor 400-meter champion in February and was the European Cup winner in that event in July, but failed to get past the qualifying rounds at the Olympics.
Stanozolol was the substance detected in the system of disgraced Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson when he was stripped of the 100-meter gold medal at the Seoul Olympics.
The drug is easily detected using conventional urine tests, prompting IOC vice president Dick Pound to question the intelligence of athletes who persisted on using steroids.
"Why they think steroids can't be tested for, I don't know," said Pound, who is head of the World Anti-Doping Agency.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.