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Doping in Olympic weightlifting

Summary of doping practices in weigthlifting between 2008 and 2019, including results of sample re-testing from 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympics.

Who

562 sanctioned athletes (83 federations).

Design

Analysis of 2008-2019 IWF data on anti-doping violations.

Outcome measures/tests

  • substance detection:
    • parent compound of noted metabolites
    • EAAS used for markers, their precursors or masking agents
  • anti-doping rules violation.

EAAS"markers of endogenous usage including androsterone,testosterone, epitestosterone, etiocholanolone, 5α-androstane-3α,17β-diol (5αAdiol), and 5β- androstane-3α,17β-diol (5βAdiol)"

Main results

doping in Olympic weightlifting

  • 559 athletes were sanctioned for the use of prohibited substances, 3 athletes for prohibited method (urine or blood substitution)
  • of sanctions were in-competion tests.
  • 51 substances detected.
  • The most detected substances were (% in-competition):
    • Dehydrochloromethyltestosterone (89%)
    • markers indicating EAAS usage (76%),
    • Metenolone (100%),
    • Methylhexanamine (100%)
    • Methyltestosterone (71%)
    • Nandrolone (86%)
    • Stanozolol
    • Metandienone
  • Sanctions by region:
    • Asia 199
    • Europe 267
    • Africa 34
    • Pan America 65
    • Oceania 0
  • Proportions of EAAS detected differed between regions.
  • Countries with the most sanctions:
    • Azerbaijan 35
    • Kazakhstan 35
    • Russia 32
    • Bulgaria 30
    • Belarus 23
    • Armenia 22
    • Ukraine 19
    • Romania 18
    • Thailand 18
    • Moldova 17
  • Re-testing of 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games’ samples resulted in:
    • 61 athletes sanctioned (13 countries)
    • 64% of sanctioned athletes were medalists in 2008 Olympics and 50% in 2012 Olympics.
    • All athletes from Romania and Moldova who competed in 2012 Olympics generated positive re-testing results.
    • All medalists from Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Romania, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Moldova re-tested positive after 2012 Olympics.
    • Weight categories that had at least 2 medalist re-test positively:
      • 2008 Olympics: W 48kg, W 69kg, W 75kg, W 75+kg, M 94kg
      • 2012 Olympics: W 53kg, W 63kg, W 69kg, W 75kg (all medalists), M 94kg (all medalist; 6 out of first 10 athletes produced positive re-test results)
    • 94 prohibited substances detected in re-tested samples
    • 83% of sanctions had Dehydrochloromethyltestosterone or Stanozolol
    • Countries with the most positive re-test (with the main reason):
      • Kazakhstan 10 (Stanozolol 67%)
      • Russia 10 (Dehydrochloromethyltestosterone 71%)
      • Belarus 8 (Dehydrochloromethyltestosterone 44%, Stanozolol 44%)
      • Azerbaijan 6 (Dehydrochloromethyltestosterone 67%)
      • Armenia 5 (Dehydrochloromethyltestosterone 50%, Stanozolol 50%)
      • Turkey 5 (Stanozolol 71%)
      • Romania 4 (Metenolone 40%, Stanozolol 40%)
      • Ukraine 4 (Dehydrochloromethyltestosterone 100%)
      • China 3 (Growth Hormone-releasing Peptide-2 75%)
      • Moldova 3 (Dehydrochloromethyltestosterone 67%)
  • These numbers may change due to WADA and ITA investigations still in progress (41 hidden cases, 10 possible cases, 130 unprocessed samples).

Take home message

For a clinician
Doping in Olympic weightlifting between 2008 and 2019 differed significantly between countries and regions. Europe and Asia have produced the most sanctions, while Oceania had none. The most detected substances were Dehydrochloromethyltestosterone (89%) and markers indicating EAAS usage (76%). Re-testing of 2008 and 2019 Olympics's samples resulted in 61 athletes sanctioned (13 countries) with 83% of sanctions having Dehydrochloromethyltestosterone or Stanozolol. 64% of sanctioned athletes were medalists in 2008 Olympics and 50% in 2012 Olympics.
For a parent
Doping in Olympic weightlifting between 2008 and 2019 differed significantly between countries and regions. Europe and Asia have produced the most sanctions, while Oceania had none. The most detected substances were Dehydrochloromethyltestosterone and markers indicating EAAS usage. After re-testing of 2008 and 2019 Olympics's samples resulted in 61 athletes sanctioned (13 countries), half of them were medalist. The most detected substances in re-testing were Dehydrochloromethyltestosterone and Stanozolol.
For an athlete
Doping in Olympic weightlifting between 2008 and 2019 differed significantly between countries and regions. Europe and Asia have produced the most sanctions, while Oceania had none. The most detected substances were Dehydrochloromethyltestosterone (89%) and markers indicating EAAS usage (76%). After re-testing of 2008 and 2019 Olympics's samples resulted in 61 athletes sanctioned (13 countries), half of them were medalist. The most detected substances in re-testing were Dehydrochloromethyltestosterone and Stanozolol.

Original article

Kolliari-Turner A, Oliver B, Lima G, Mills JP, Wang G, Pitsiladis Y, Guppy FM. Doping practices in international weightlifting: analysis of sanctioned athletes/support personnel from 2008 to 2019 and retesting of samples from the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games. Sports Medicine-Open. 2021 Dec;7(1):1-0.

IWF list: Athletes sanctioned for valiation of anty-doping roles.

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