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The Eraser: Drug-Related Disqualifications in Men's Weightlifting at Summer Olympics

by Arthur Chidlovski

The following review presents a complete chronology of the drug related disqualifications at the Summer Olympics weightlifting tournaments with a brief historical description of the usage of drugs in sports and introduction to the drug testing procedures at the Olympics.

 

Early Drug Usage and Testing at the Olympics

Usage of drugs by Olympic athletes is old news. Long before the invention of WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) and long before testing on drugs became a part of Olympic competitions, there were numerous records showing that Olympians used performance enhancers at the Olympics. Ancient Greek athletes used hallucinogenic mushrooms for mental preparation to the competitions and sesame seeds to increase endurance.

In the late 1800s, European and American competitors experimented with caffeine, alcohol, nitroglycerine, strychnine and opium to improve their performance in the sport contests.

It is known that Thomas Hicks, the winner of the 1904 Olympic marathon, reached his results with the help of multiple doses of strychnine and brandy administered during the race. American Coach of the 1920 sprint team treated his athletes with a mixture of sherry and raw egg. The world of sports was in shock to find out that cyclist Knut Jensen from Denmark died during the 1960 Olympic road race due to usage of amphetamines and nicotinyl tartrate. Doping Testing at the Olympics.

In 1967, Medical Commission of the International Olympic Committee began the process of banning doping usage in Olympic sports disciplines. The first round of drug testing was conducted at the 1968 Olympic Games. The testing was done based on the IOC list of banned substances which included amphetamines and heroin and a chromosome check on female athletes whether they were biologically women.

First full-scale drug testing took place at the 1972 Olympics. Both campuses of the drug war in sports were ready for the battle. The IOC disqualified 7 athletes for usage of banned substances at the 1972 Olympics. Team doctors and administrators in their turn did their home work on usage of masking agents and how to avoid being caught on positive tests.

The war on drugs in sports began and it goes on today.

 

Olympic Weightlifting and Drug Testing

Like other Olympic disciplines, weightlifting was a subject of doping testing strating with the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City. The first tests in 1968 were conducted for the presence of amphetamines.

Besides the IOC testing, the International Weightlifting Federation arranged its own testing of athletes. At the 1970 World Championship in Columbus, OH, USA, the IWF administered first tests with the positive results leading to disqualification of several high profile athletes that earned medals in the first four weight classes.

The list of athletes whose medals and results were erased in 1970 included such lifters as:

During the first series of testing at the Olympics and World championships, steroids were not on the IOC list of banned substances. The first testing for these substances was conducted at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal.

 

The Eraser: History of Disqualifications at the Men's Olympic Weightlifting Tournaments

The following table represents a complete history of erased medals and results shown at the men's Olympic tournaments due to the usage of performance enhancing substances since. To sort the data in a desired order, please click on the the column headers.

Table 1. Drug-Related Disqualifications in Weightlifting at Summer Olympics

  Yr. Athlete/Result Nat. Class Rank Substance
1 1972 MOHAMAD NASEHI AR JOMAND
Iran
0+0=0
irn Flyweight
(52 kg)
99 ephedrine
2 1972 WALTER LEGEL
Austria
0+0=0
aut Lightweight
(67.5 kg)
99 ephedrine
3 1976 ARNE NORBACK
Sweden
0+0=0
swe Featherweight
(60 kg)
99 ephedrine
4 1976 ZBIGNIEW KACZMAREK
Poland
135+172.5=307.5
pol Lightweight
(67.5 kg)
1 anabolic steroids
5 1976 DRAGOMIR CIOROSLAN
Romania
142.5+177.5=320
rom Middleweight
(75 kg)
4 fencanfamine
6 1976 BLAGOY BLAGOEV
Bulgaria
162.5+200=362.5
bul Light Heavyweight
(82.5 kg)
2 anabolic steroids
7 1976 PHILIP GRIPPALDI
United States
150+205=355
usa Middle Heavyweight
(90 kg)
4 anabolic steroids
8 1976 MARK CAMERON
United States
162.5+212.5=375.5
usa Heavyweight
(110 kg)
4 anabolic steroids
9 1976 PETR PAVLASEK
Czechoslovakia
172.5+215=387.5
cze Super Heavyweight
(110 Plus kg)
6 anabolic steroids
10 1984 MAHMOOD TARHA
Lebanon
102.5+127.5=230
leb Flyweight
(52 kg)
4 nandrolone
11 1984 AHMED TARBI
Algeria
0+0=0
alg Bantamweight
(56 kg)
99 nandrolone
12 1984 GORAN PETTERSON
Sweden
165+195=360
swe Sub Heavyweight
(100 kg)
6 nandrolone
13 1984 STEFAN LAGGNER
Austria
170+215=385
aut Super Heavyweight
(110 Plus kg)
4 nandrolone
14 1984 SERAFIN GRAMMATIKOPOULOS
Greece
0+0=0
gre Super Heavyweight
(110 Plus kg)
99 nandrolone
15 1988 MITKO GRABLEV
Bulgaria
0+0=297.5
bul Bantamweight
(56 kg)
1 furosemide
16 1988 MARIACO FERNANDO
Spain
127.5+160=287.5
spa Lightweight
(67.5 kg)
11 pemoline
17 1988 ANGEL GENCHEV
Bulgaria
160+202.5=362.5
bul Lightweight
(67.5 kg)
1 furosemide
18 1988 KALMAN CZENGENI
Hungary
155+195=350
hun Middleweight
(75 kg)
4 stanozolol
19 1988 ANDOR SZANYI
Hungary
0+0=407.5
hun Sub Heavyweight
(100 kg)
2 stanozolol
20 2000 IVAN IVANOV
Bulgaria
130+162.5=292.5
bul Bantamweight
(56 kg)
2 furosemide
21 2000 SEVDALIN MINCHEV
Bulgaria
140+177.5=317.5
bul Featherweight
(62 kg)
3 furosemide
22 2000 ASHOT DANIELYAN
Armenia
207.5+257.5=465
arm Super Heavyweight
(105 Plus kg)
3 stanozolol
23 2004 LEONIDAS SABANIS
Greece
145+167.5=312.5
gre Featherweight
(62 kg)
3
24 2004 ZOLTAN KOVACS
Hungary
0+0=0
hun Heavyweight
(105 kg)
99
25 2004 FERENC GYURKOVIC
Hungary
195+225=420
hun Heavyweight
(105 kg)
2
26 2008 IGOR RAZORYONOV
Ukraine
187+223=410
ukr Heavyweight
(105 kg)
6 nandrolone
 

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