Uzbekistan wrestler turned politician, Artur Taymazov has emerged the 60th athlete and seventh gold medallist to be disqualified from London 2012 under a doping re-test programme.
Taymazov had already lost his 2008 Olympic gold in 2016 after a positive test for an oral steroid in the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) reanalysis programme.
However, the IOC re-tests samples using new techniques not available in 2012 and there were nine positive tests before and during London 2012.
Other athletes who originally won London 2012 golds, such as Russian racewalker Sergei Kirdyapkin, his compatriot and high jumper Ivan Ukhov and Turkish 1500m runner Asli Cakir Alptekin, were stripped of their medals after rulings by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
However, the re-testing scheme has seen a further 60 caught cheating – including 24 medallists and the samples from 2012 can be re-tested for up to eight years after the Games.
The statute of limitations on doping offences was extended from eight to 10 years in 2015, but that cannot be backdated so the IOC has until next summer to announce any more positives from London 2012.
“The IOC has been storing samples from the Olympic Games since Athens 2004 and has re-analysed them systematically,” the governing body said after one of Taymazov’s samples from London 2012 resulted in a positive test for oral steroid turinabol.
“The fight against doping is a top priority for the IOC, which has established a zero-tolerance policy to combat cheating and to make anyone responsible for using or providing doping products accountable.”
The freestyle wrestler’s only remaining gold is from Athens 2004.
By Olukayode Oniwinde