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Kyrgyz Weightlifter, Moldovan Canoeist Fail Drug Tests At Olympics

  • RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service

A Kyrgyz weightlifter has been stripped of his Olympic bronze medal after failing a drug test, while a Moldovan canoeist has also been suspended from the Olympics for doping, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) reports.

The CAS's Anti-Doping Tribunal said on August 18 that Izzat Artykov -- who had won his country's only Olympic medal in Rio when he placed third in the 69-kilogram division of weightlifting last week -- tested positive for strychnine.

"His medal is forfeited and he is excluded from the Olympic Games," the CAS announced.

The International Canoe Federation said the same day that Serghei Tarnovschi -- who won a bronze medal in the 1,000-meter solo canoe race -- has been suspended from the Olympics for failing a drug test taken before the games.

Tarnovschi, 19, was due to compete in the 1,000-meter doubles canoe race with his brother Oleg but is no longer eligible.

Artykov was widely feted when he returned to Kyrgyzstan four days ago and given gifts such as an apartment and a vehicle.

Strychnine -- which is commonly used to kill rats and other small rodents -- can act as performance enhancing drug if used in small doses as it increases muscular convulsions.

Usenkan Maynazarov, the head coach of the Kyrgyz weightlifting team, said he had no information about the doping charge but added that "this cannot be [true]."

With reporting by Reuters and AP
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