Ivan Tsikhan barred from Olympics amid doping reports
13:41, — Sport
Hammer thrower has been barred from Olympics amid reports that a banned performance-enhancing substance has been detected in his sample taken as far back as eight years ago.
When reached by BelaPAN, Uladzimir Nestsyarovich, spokesman for the sports ministry, said that the International Association of Athletics Federations on Thursday "offered" the Belarusian Athletics Federation to bar the 36-year-old Tsikhan from the London Games. He was to take part in the qualifying round on August 3.
"A decision was made to do that [ban Tsikhan] in order not to let the entire track-and-field team down as it could be disqualified," Mr. Nestsyarovich said.
He criticized the international federation for sending the letter one day before Mr. Tsikhan was to compete. "The athlete was driven into a corner, he has no possibility to defend himself," Mr. Nestsyarovich said.
He stressed that Mr. Tsikhan had tested negative for doping shortly ahead of the Olympics.
The newspaper Pressbol said that a banned substance had been allegedly discovered in the samples taken from Mr. Tsikhan at the 2004 Athens Olympics and the 2005 world championships.
Mr. Tsikhan won silver in Athens and the world title in 2005. He won bronze at the Beijing Olympics four years ago but was later stripped of the medal. After a two-year court battle, he had his third place reinstated and was given back the medal.