Four Russian weightlifters, including a world-record holder, have been banned for doping.
Aleksei Lovchev, who won a world title in Houston in November with a world-record total over two lifts, has been banned for four years after a positive test for the banned steroid ipamorelin, the Russian Weightlifting Federation said on May 17.
His gold medal from the worlds will go to Lasha Talakhadze of Georgia, while his world record will be nullified, restoring a 16-year-old mark set by Iranian lifter Hossein Rezazadeh.
Russian weightlifters Aleksei Kosov, Olga Zubova, and Olga Afanasyeva were also banned after testing positive for steroids.
The federation said that it planned to appeal Lovchev's ban ahead of the Rio Olympics, claiming a mistake in the laboratory analysis. It did not dispute the other sanctions.
"The Canadian laboratory produced a mistaken result," Russian Weightlifting Federation President Sergei Syrtsov told state TV. "There is a chance, a good chance, that Aleksei will still be able to go to Rio. Specialists are working on this."
Lovchev claims he received permission to use the banned steroid for a knee injury before the world championships.