Romanian weightlifting medalist fails Rio Olympic drug test
BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — A Romanian weightlifter who won a bronze medal at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics could lose his medal after failing a doping test.
Gabriel Sincraian, who won bronze in the men's 85-kilogram category in Rio, tested positive for excess testosterone, the International Weightlifting Federation said Thursday. The test was connected to the Olympics, the IWF said without specifying exactly when it was taken.
An IWF statement originally listed Sincraian among a group of lifters who had been "disqualified" from the Olympics, but later clarified his case was not yet closed.
"There is no final decision as regards the measures and/or sanctions relating to (Sincraian's) Rio Olympic Games participation yet," the IWF said.
Decisions on Olympic disqualifications and medals are up to the International Olympic Committee.
Sincraian returned last year from a two-year doping ban for the banned steroid stanozolol. He could face an eight-year ban for a second offense, in line with usual IWF practice.
If the IOC decides to reallocate the medals, Sincraian's bronze would pass to fourth-placed Denis Ulanov of Kazakhstan, whose entire team was almost banned from the Olympics over repeated drug test failures.
Romanian Weightlifting Federation president Nicu Vlad said Sincraian had been under a provisional suspension since Sept. 30 over the failed test, and that it could be linked to supplements he had been taking.
"He was asked if he still had (the supplements), because it would be good for them to be analyzed, and he said he didn't," Vlad told Romanian news agency Agerpres.
The entire Bulgarian and Russian weightlifting teams were banned from competing in Rio due to repeated doping cases, while lifters from Poland, Taiwan, Cyprus and Mongolia failed tests either during or shortly before the games.
Weightlifting has been rocked by dozens of failed drug tests from the 2008 and 2012 Olympics which turned up when samples were retested by the IOC this year using modern technology. More than 40 competitors have so far tested positive in those retests, including several gold medalists. In one event from 2012, the original ninth-place finisher is in line to receive a bronze medal because six athletes who finished above him have failed drug tests.