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China faces one-year IWF ban for doping violations

China is set to be banned from international weightlifting competitions for one year after three of its athletes were stripped of gold medals from the Beijing 2008 summer Olympic Games following doping re-tests.

The International Olympic Committee has retrospectively disqualified weightlifting gold medal-winners Cao Lei (75kg, pictured), Chen Xiexia (48 kg) and Liu Chunhong (69kg) from Beijing 2008.

The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) said last year that countries with three or more failed drugs tests in the re-tests of the Beijing and London 2012 Olympics would be suspended for one year from all international competitions. The IWF has not confirmed the sanction yet.

Weightlifters from Kazakhstan, Russia and Taiwan would be in line to assume the gold medals from the 2008 Games, although the Reuters news agency reported that it is unclear if they also failed doping re-tests.

Five other athletes were disqualified from the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, including three weightlifters – Armenian Norayr Vardanyan, Sibel Simsek from Turkey and Intigam Zairov from Azerbaijan – as well as shot putter Nadzeya Ostapchuk and hammer thrower Darya Pchelnik, who are both from Belarus.