Vietnam's Toan gets Olympic bronze as Azerbaijani lifter sanctioned for doping

By Dang Khoa   November 26, 2020 | 11:45 pm PT
Vietnam's Toan gets Olympic bronze as Azerbaijani lifter sanctioned for doping
Vietnamese weightlifter Tran Le Quoc Toan competes in the men's 56 kg event at the London 2012 Summer Olympics. Photo by VnExpress/An Nhon.
Weightlifter Tran Le Quoc Toan has been awarded the 2012 Olympic bronze medal after the Azerbaijani bronze medalist was stripped of it for a doping offense.

The International Olympic Committee on Wednesday announced the decision to strip Valentin Hristov of the medal.

At the London Olympics, Toan finished fourth in the weightlifting men's 56 kg event with a total lift of 284 kg, two kg less than Hristov’s tally.

A recent analysis of Hristov’s sample showed anabolic–androgenic steroid oral turinabol (Chlorodehydromethyltestosterone).

The 31-year-old Vietnamese told the media that Hristov's doping scandal has been going around for years, but he had lost hope since there was no official confirmation about it.

The Da Nang native said while he is happy to get the medal it would have been more meaningful eight years ago.

Earlier this week the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) hit Nguyen Thi Thu Trang, 17, and Bui Dinh Sang, 16, with four-year bans starting last January after they tested positive for oxandrolone, an anabolic steroid that promotes the growth of muscle tissue.

The federation last year banned Trinh Van Vinh and Nguyen Thi Phuong Thanh for using performance-enhancing drugs in 2018.

As a result, Vietnam face a potential ban from the 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympics. As a rule, any country that more than thrice fails doping tests during Olympic qualifiers, which commenced in November 2018, could lose their quota count or be banned from the games.

The IWF announced in April that it would test Vietnamese lifters using stricter anti-doping measures before and after all regional, continental and world tournaments.

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