3 Chinese Weightlifters Lose Beijing 2008 Olympic Medals for Doping
Three Chinese weightlifters have been stripped off their gold medals in the Beijing Olympics 2008 after testing positive in doping tests under the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) new retesting program.
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The names of the three Chinese weightlifters are Cao Lei, 33, Chen Xiexia, 34, and Liu Chunhong, 31. All three will now have to return their gold medals to IOC within a stipulated period of time.
According to IOC, the three athletes were tested positive for GHRP-2, a substance that enhances production of hormones in the body.
Chinese weightlifters now face a potential one year ban following a new rule passed by the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) that imposes ban on any nation with three or more positive doping tests.
The IOC has also striped off medals from five other athletes following a failed dope test. Among them, three are weightlifters, one is a 'shot put thrower', and other is hammer thrower.
The IOC had started retesting samples from the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games using new technologies to uncover especially those athletes who managed to go undetected due to their unethical practices.
The medal recall will come as a huge embarrassment for China, which for the first time had topped the medal tally at Beijing Olympics.
The three Chinese weightlifters have so far not issued any statement in their defense.
The medal recall fiasco will put further pressure on IOC to remove weightlifting from Olympics, as the sports has been continuously marred by doping scandals.