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Tajikistan's First-Ever Olympic Champion Nazarov Suspended Amid Doping Allegations


Dilshod Nazarov stands on the podium during the medal ceremony for the men's hammer throw final during the athletics at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Rio de Janeiro in August 2016.

DUSHANBE -- Tajikistan's first-ever Olympic champion, hammer thrower Dilshod Nazarov, won't participate in the world championships kicking off later this month over a failed doping test.

The Athletics Integrity Unit, which oversees doping and other integrity issues in international athletics, said on September 24 that Nazarov was provisionally suspended after a retest of his sample from the 2011 world championships came back positive for the banned steroid turinabol.

It said that Nazarov and other doping suspects are "suspended temporarily...prior to a final decision at a hearing conducted under the IAAF [International Association of Athletic Federations] Anti-Doping Rules or the Integrity Code of Conduct."

Nazarov earned the Central Asian nation's first-ever Olympic gold medal, winning the men's hammer throw event at the Rio Olympics in 2016.

The 37-year-old, who is currently in Qatar where the world championships will take place from September 27 to October 6, said in statement e-mailed to RFE/RL that he is "in shock."

"I have always been for cleanliness in sports and all my awards have been earned through fair competition. I am fully open to lift all suspicions and for that I have hired a well-known European lawyer," the statement reads.

Muhammadsho Abdulloev, chief of Tajikistan's National Anti-Doping Organization, said that Nazarov "successfully" passed all of the necessary tests after the 2016 Olympics.

Ahtam Abdullozoda, the chairman of Tajikistan's Committee for Youth Issues, Sports, and Tourism, refused to comment to RFE/RL on the situation, saying that he had yet to receive official documents on Nazarov's suspension.

With reporting by Reuters and AP