Third doping case hits Athens

2004-09-24 11:15
Athens - A Cuban judoka tested positive for banned substances at the Athens Paralympics and will be stripped of his gold medal in the third doping case since the start of the Games, organizers said on Friday.

Sergio Arturo Perez, who took gold in the men's under 60 kilos category, will lose his medal but will otherwise receive only a "reprimand and a warning" because the banned drug - prednisolone - is not considered performance enhancing for judo, said International Paralympics Committee spokesperson Miriam Wilkens.

Perez will thus face no restrictions on participating in future competitions.

This is the third doping case to hit the Athens Games, which have passed the midway point and will end of September 28.

Some 413 doping tests have been carried out so far as compared to 600 for the entire Sydney Games in 2000, Wilkens said.

Earlier, two weightlifters from Azerbaijan tested positive for banned substances and were banned for life from all international-level competition because both were repeat offenders.

The weightlifters were Goundouz Ismayilov and Sara Abbasova, competing respectively in the men's 90 and the women's 92.5kg categories.

Ismayilov, 31, was caught using the banned substance stanozolol, while nandrolone was found in the urine sample of Abbasova, 28.

Eleven athletes testing positive in the Sydney Paralympics in 2000, almost all of them weightlifters.

Systematic Paralympic anti-doping controls began in the 1992 Barcelona Games. Four athletes, all medalists, tested positive in 1992, including one judoka, one basketball player and two track-and-field athletes. Out of 300 doping tests conducted at the Atlanta Paralympics in 1996, none were positive.

Anti-doping controls at winter Paralympics began at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games, where one athlete was caught red-handed with banned substances.

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