Saturday, June 28, 2008

Olympics Loses a Team to Doping

The competition for Olympic men's and women's weight lifting just got a little more interesting when an entire country was banned from competing in the sport.

The entire Bulgarian weight lifting team - 8 men and 3 women - was banned from the Olympics after testing positive for the banned steroid, methandienonea, in early June according to a statement from the Bulgarian weight lifting federation. This is not the first time Bulgarian weight lifters have been ensnared in a doping scandal. Three Bulgarian weight lifters were barred from the Athens Games. At the 1988 and 2000 Olympics, several Bulgarian weight lifters returned their medals when they failed doping tests after their events.

What's unique about this instance is that officials did not even wait for due process. All the positive results were from the "A" samples. If "A" is positive, the "B" sample is tested to validate the test. This was not done in this case.

Doping and weight lifting does not just go down in Bulgaria. Greece also had 11 weight lifters banned for two years for testing positive for a steroid in March. Luckily for Greece, not everyone on the team was doping (or at least not caught) since they are sending a team of four weight lifters over to compete in the Games.

Don't expect much from the Greek weight lifting team this year, but at least they will make it to the Games which is more than can be said about the Bulgarian team.

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