The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has retroactively annulled the results of 12 athletes, including seven medallists of the London 2012 Olympics after they tested positive in new doping tests.
The tests were performed on stored samples that were re-analysed as part of the IOC’s efforts to protect clean athletes in its fight against doping outlined in the Olympic Agenda 2020 roadmap, reports Efe.
One of the high-profile athletes who was stripped of a gold medal was Russian runner Yulia Zaripova, who won the women’s 3,000-metre steeplechase.
Zaripova had already been sanctioned by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), which expunged her from the official records for the period between July 2011 and July 2013.
Of the 12 athletes disqualified from London 2012, four were from Russia, two were from Ukraine and two were from Moldova.
The remaining four represented Belarus, Armenia, Georgia and Kazakhstan.
Three of the 12 positives affected competitors in the athletics category, while the other nine were taken from weightlifters.
Ukrainian hammer thrower Oleksander Drygol, who ranked 34th, and his compatriot Margaryta Tverdokhlib, who came in 26th place in long jump, were both disqualified for testing positive for dehydrochlormethyltestosterone (turinabol).
Russian weightlifters Alexandr Ivanov (silver medal in the 94-kilograms category), Nataliya Zabolotnaya (silver in 75 kg) and Andrey Demanov (fourth in 94 kg) have also had their achievements removed for using illegal substances.
Moldovans Anatoli Ciricu and Cristina Iovu were stripped of their bronze medals in their respective weightlifting events (94 and 53 kg), as were Armenian bronze medallist Hripsime Khurshudyan (+75 kg) and Belarusian Iryna Kulesha (75 kg).
Georgian weightlifter Rauli Tsirekidze, who came in 9th in the 85 kg category, and Kazakh Almas Uteshov — 7th in 94 kg — completed the list of disqualified athletes.