Olympics: Russian weightlifter stripped of bronze medal

Russian weightlifter Oleg Perepetchenov was on Tuesday stripped of his 2004 Olympic bronze medal by the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for a doping offence.

The Uzbekistan-born weightlifter -- a two-time world championships silver medallist in 2001 and 2002 -- is the latest athlete from the Athens Games to be disqualified because his stored sample yielded a positive test.

"Oleg Perepetchenov is found to have committed an anti-doping rule violation pursuant to article 2.1 of the IOC Anti-Doping Rules applicable to the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad in Athens in 2004 (presence of a prohibited substance or its metabolites or markers in an athlete's bodily specimen)," said an IOC statement.

"He is disqualified from the men's 77 kg weightlifting event where he had placed third at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, and shall have his bronze medal in the above-mentioned event withdrawn."

The IOC also told the weightlifting federation to reallocate the medal from the 77kg category, which will see Turkish lifter Reyhan Arabacioglu taking the bronze.

Last December four other medallists from the Athens Games were stripped of their medals for doping offences.

Ukraine's Yuri Belonog was stripped of his shot put gold medal, Belarus' Ivan Tikhon of his silver in the hammer, and Irina Yatchenko of Belarus and Russian Svetlana Krivelyova lost their bronze medals in the women's discus and shot put respectively.

At the time the IOC said that there was a fifth athlete, who could not be named at the time because of a delay in the procedure of his test.

Since the Athens Games all dope tests taken at the Olympics have been stored in a large deep freeze in the basement of the anti-doping laboratory in Lausanne for a duration of eight years.

The IOC had asked the laboratory to reanalyse 105 tests taken at the Games in Athens, which holds the unwanted record for the most failed dope tests in Olympic history.