Sport

Belarus shot putter stripped of Olympic gold

Tuesday, August 14, 2012    

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PARIS, France (AFP) — Belarussian Nadezhda Ostapchuk yesterday became the first medallist disqualified from the London Games for doping and was stripped of her women's Olympic shot put title.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) confirmed that New Zealand's Valerie Adams has been awarded the gold medal after Ostapchuk provided two urine samples which were both found to contain the banned anabolic agent metenolone.

Ostapchuk said she would appeal the IOC decision.

"Of course we will fight this decision, but still it's not completely clear for what and against whom exactly we will protest," the 31-year-old told the Belarus service of Radio Liberty.

"We will make a decision after we get more information," Ostapchuk added.

Ostapchuk, the 2005 world champion, took surprise gold with a throw of 21.36m to end the almost two-year unbeaten run of 27-year-old Adams, who took silver with 20.70m.

Russia's Yevgeniya Kolodko has been upgraded to silver medal position and Lijiao Gong of China bronze.

An IOC statement had said earlier: "The athlete was first requested to provide a urine sample for a doping control on 5 August.

"She competed the next day in the women's shot put event, where she placed first, and was asked to provide a sample straight after her competition.

"Both samples indicated the presence of metenolone, which is classified as anabolic agent under the 2012 Prohibited List."

Adams, the 2008 Olympic and three-time world champion, said she was "speechless" after hearing the news.

"It is taking me some time to take this in," Adams told TVNZ from her base in Switzerland. It is huge, and I am absolutely thrilled of course. It makes me extraordinarily proud as a New Zealander.

"It is also encouraging for those athletes, like myself, who are proud to compete cleanly, that the system works and doping cheats are caught."

Ostapchuk had been competing in her third Olympics in London. She finished fourth in Athens in 2004 and won bronze in Beijing four years ago.

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