Tokyo Olympic medalist weightlifter Son banned for doping

Igor Son competes in the men’s 61-kg event at the 2020 Summer Olympics on July 25, 2021, in Tokyo.

ASTANA, Kazakhstan—A weightlifter from Kazakhstan who won a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 has been banned for eight years for doping.

The Weightlifting Federation of the Republic of Kazakhstan (WFRK) said Wednesday that Igor Son, who won the bronze in the men’s 61-kilogram category in Tokyo, was among six weightlifters from the country to receive doping bans.

It was first reported in March 2022 that they had tested positive in samples taken by Kazakhstan’s anti-doping authorities. It’s the second career doping ban for Son, who served a seven-month sanction in 2015.

The WFRK said the positive test would not lead to Son being stripped of his Olympic medal.

“This out-of-competition testing was undertaken after six months following the international competitions where (the athletes) had taken part, so there is no issue of disqualifying their results or returning their medals. I especially want to emphasize this in relation to the Olympic award of Igor Son,” WFRK general secretary Aldiyar Nuralinov said in a statement.

Kazakhstan has a long history of doping in elite-level weightlifting. The Central Asian nation has been stripped of medals from the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympics for various breaches of anti-doping rules.

National teams can lose future Olympic places if they have repeated doping cases—a sanction which has applied to Kazakhstan in the past—or be barred from competitions. Nuralinov said that would not happen in this case because Son and the other athletes tested positive in national-level tests within Kazakhstan and not at international events.

Image credits: AP


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