Road To The Olympic Games

Russian weightlifters, 2 other countries, face Rio Olympics ban

The weightlifting teams from Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus all are facing bans from the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro as punishment for positive retests of samples from the 2008 and 2012 Games, the International Weightlifting Federation said Wednesday.

Belarus and Kazakhstan also could be out of Games, pending confirmation by IOC

Ruslan Albegov of Russia won a bronze medal in the men's +105kg weightlifting event at the London 2012 Olympic Games. The country's weightlifting team, as well as the teams from Kazakhstan and Belarus, have been banned from the Games in Rio de Janeiro because of positive doping tests. (Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Russia's weightlifters face being banned from the Rio Olympics, subject to confirmation by the International Olympic Committee,  in another collective doping punishment to hit the country.

Five days after its track and field team's suspension from the 2016 Games was upheld, Russia's weightlifters are now also set to be suspended from the August 5-21 Olympics.

Belarus and weightlifting superpower Kazakhstan were also banned over failed retests from the 2008 and 2012 Olympics on Wednesday by the sport's governing body, the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF), which also punished other nations by reducing the number of available athlete slots in Rio.

Retrospective doping tests carried out by the IOC have led to 17 positives from 2008 and 2012, said the IWF. The governing body added there may be more cases to come.

The IWF is awaiting confirmation of those failures and a final tally from the IOC, who were not immediately available when contacted late on Wednesday by Reuters.

IOC supported ban on Russian track and field athletes

Earlier this week the IOC supported the IAAF's decision to continue its ban on all Russian track and field athletes as a collective punishment for the country's systematic doping problems, saying that such a decision was for each sport's federation.

Because of those results, and an unprecedented 24 positives at the weightlifting world championships in Houston, Texas, last November, a special meeting was called for this week in Tbilisi, host of this weekend's youth world championships.

The IWF, stressing its "zero tolerance" towards dopers, said it had taken 11 places away from teams who had committed four or more doping offences in 2015. Two of those teams were Russia and Kazakhstan, so the sanctions could yet be overtaken by a team ban. The others were Azerbaijan, North Korea and Moldova (two places each) and Belarus (one).

As for the banning of entire teams, the IWF said in a statement: "The IWF Executive Board has decided that national federations confirmed to have produced three or more anti-doping rule violations in the combined re-analysis process of the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games shall be suspended for one year."

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