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Bulgarian weightlifters remain banned from Rio Olympics

Bulgaria remains banned from Olympic weightlifting because of excessive doping after sport's highest court dismissed an appeal on Friday.

Court of Arbitration for Sport upholds team ban after 11 failed doping tests in 2015

Bulgarian weightlifter Ivan Markov, who competed in the 85kg class at the 2012 London Olympics, was one of 11 Bulgarian weightlifters who tested positive for an anabolic steroid in March of 2015. (Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Bulgaria remains banned from Olympic weightlifting because of excessive doping after sport's highest court dismissed an appeal on Friday.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport said its single judge ruled the International Weightlifting Federation president Tamas Ajan was entitled to exclude Bulgarian teams from qualifying for the Rio de Janeiro Games after 11 athletes tested positive for anabolic steroids last March.

The IWF rules allow bans if at least nine lifters in a team test positive in a single season, the court noted.

The case extends Bulgaria's tainted record in Olympic weightlifting.

The team also withdrew before the 2008 Beijing Games for doping, and was sent home from the 2000 Sydney Games and stripped of three medals.

In one victory for the Bulgarian Weightlifting Federation, the CAS judge upheld its appeal against paying a $500,000 fine.

"[Ajan] had no jurisdiction to take such decision alone [and] it is for the executive board to rule on the issue of the fine," CAS said in a statement.

Last March, eight Bulgarian men and three women tested positive for the anabolic steroid stanozolol during training ahead of the European Championships.

Bulgaria withdrew from the European event, and the 11 lifters were banned before the 2015 world championships in Houston.

In Houston, the IWF barred Bulgarian lifters from Olympic qualifying standings and imposed the fine.

Giving its urgent verdict, CAS said detailed reasons would be published "in due course."

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