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CAS upholds weightlifter Lovchev's doping ban ahead of Olympics

Europe
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Berlin (dpa) - Russian weightlifter Aleksey Lovchev will not participate in the upcoming Olympic Games after his suspension for doping was upheld.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport confirmed on Friday that Lovchev‘s four-year ban, administered in May by the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) for testing positive for the banned substance ipamorelin, would stand.

The Russian set a world record with a total lift of 475kg and won two gold medals at the 2015 World Weightlifting Championships in Houston, but positive A and B tests saw him stripped of his achievements.

Lovchev‘s lawyer, Artyom Patsev, said that the decision to uphold the ban would have no bearing on whether other Russian weightlifters could compete at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Their participation has been in doubt since the IWF announced in June that they would suspend the Russian Weightlifting Federation for 12 months if rechecks of drug tests collected at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics yielded at least three positive results.

"Yes, the CAS has kept Lovchev‘s disqualification in force but this can‘t affect a decision on whether Russian weightlifters will be barred from the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro," Patsev said.

"Disqualifications, theoretical so far, may be linked only with the samples from Beijing and London," he explained.

Patsev also proclaimed Lovchev‘s innocence, claiming his client was being scapegoated to cover up for a flawed anti-doping system.

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