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Kazakhstani Weightlifters Disqualified From Competitions

By Aybulat Musaev May 5, 2017

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Kazakhstan's Zulfiya Chinshanlo poses with her gold medal of the women's 53Kg weightlifting competition at the London 2012 Olympic Games July 29, 2012 / Dominic Ebenbichler / Reuters

The Kazakhstan Weightlifting Federation announced Friday that three of the country’s top weightlifters are officially banned from competitions, after retests of blood samples taken at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London confirmed finding traces of prohibited drugs.

Zulfiya Chinshanlo from the women's 53 kg category, Maiya Maneza and Svetlana Podobedova, from the 63 kg and 75 kg women’s categories, respectively, were found to be using prohibited substances during the London games. All three had tested positive for the steroid stanozolol, with Chinshanlo's sample also containing oxandrolone

According to a decision taken by the International Wrestling Federation, Chinshanlo and Maneza are disqualified from competing for two years, while Podobedova is barred for eight years. Their disqualification periods retroactively begin on May 26, 2016, which is when their stored test samples came back positive for steroids in anti-doping testing carried out last year.

The three Kazakhstani women were all superstars at the 2012 Olympics, where they had won gold medals. Maneza  won in the 63 kg category and lifted a combined weight of 245 kg, setting a new Olympic record. She was stripped of her medal, however, in October of last year after the drugs tests came back positive.

Podobedova faced a similar fate when, after having won gold in the women’s 75 kg category in London, retests of her samples indicated that she too had tested positive for stanozolol. Podobedova’s behavior was linked to what has been dubbed the “Russian doping scandal,” in which athletes were deliberately provided with prohibited substances with the knowledge of Russian officials.

Chinshanlo had set a world record in the clean and jerk competition in the London games, lifting 131 kg. A positive blood test result for the banned steroids oxandrolone and stanozolol resulted her having to relinquish her medal as well.