Multiples sources have stated that Tamas Ajan, President of the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) and member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), announced that up to 20 weightlifters from the 2008 (Beijing) and 2012 (London) Olympics have tested positive for doping as part of a larger Olympic retesting program. Sources have said that Ajan confirmed that 5 of the 20 positive retests are from Olympic champions. Of the five positive retests, four are rumored to be from the 2012 London Games. It is believed that the IOC is awaiting testing of “B” samples before announcing which athletes tested positive during the retesting.
Following Ajan’s comments, speculation has begun as to which athletes may be implicated in the positive retest results. Ren.Tv is reporting that Russian weightlifters Nadezhda Evstyukhina and Marina Shainova tested positive. Evstyukhina won the bronze medal in the 75kg weight class in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and she competed in the 2012 London Olympics. Shainova won a silver medal in the 58kg weight class at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, but was banned for two years in 2013 for testing positive for the use of Stanozolol, an anabolic steroid.
Additional rumors began circulating on Polish Barbell (translated) that two Olympic champions from Kazakhstan and four athletes from Azerbaijan are implicated in the positive retests. Four Kazakh weightlifters won a gold medal between the two Games in question: Ilya Ilyin, Maiya Maneza, Zulfiya Chinshanlo and Svetlana Podobedova. Per a Chinese news story, Chinshanlo is one of the athletes who has tested positive although this has not yet been confirmed. Because Ilyin is the most notable Kazakh weightlifter and also has two Olympic gold medals, his name is being brought up as the potential second Kazakh athlete who tested positive.
With all of the swirl created by the initial retest, the IOC Executive Board announced on Wednesday that funding for the retesting program has been doubled. Partnering with WADA, the expansion of the retesting program will “target medallists from both Olympic Games (2008 & 2012) for possible re-analysis”. The IOC is working quickly to suspend all athletes implicated prior to the 2016 Olympic Games in August.
The initial retesting program is believed to have found 54 positive tests out of a little over 700 samples that have been reanalyzed.