First dope case rocks wrestling

IN A SPOT: Rustem Nazarov of Turkmenistan tested positive for the banned substance furosemide. PTI

A wrestler from Turkmenistan became the first doping case at the Asian Games and has been disqualified, the Olympic Council of Asia said on Friday, days after it threatened to expel the worst-offending sports from future tournaments.

Rustem Nazarov tested positive for the banned substance furosemide, a masking agent, in a pre-tournament urine test last week, the OCA said.

Nazarov "has been disqualified from the 18th Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games 2018... and his results during the competition held on the 19th August annulled", said a statement.

The athlete, 24, had competed in the men's 57kg freestyle event and was defeated in his first match.

His compatriot Shyhazberdi Ovelekov won bronze in the men's Greco-Roman 87kg category on Wednesday.

On Monday, the OCA's president said that sports with the highest number of doping cases in recent Games could face punishment, including expulsion.

"We would like to see which sport in the past three Games had the highest number (of doping cases)," Sheikh Ahmad al-Fahad al-Sabah told reporters in Asian Games host city Jakarta.

"When we know this, the sport we will put it under pressure. It will not be one of our sports anymore, or it will have less medals."

A count of re-analysed samples from Beijing 2008 and London 2012, carried out last year by the International Olympic Committee, found wrestling had the third-highest number of positive cases, after weightlifting and athletics.

Wrestling has been hit with a spate of high-profile doping cases in recent years.

British freestyle wrestler Chinu Sandhu, who won bronze at the Commonwealth Games in 2014, was handed a four-year ban for a doping violation last year.

Uzbekistan's triple Olympic champion Artur Taymazov was last year stripped of his Beijing 2008 medal after his re-analysed samples tested positive for banned steroids.

Last week United World Wrestling, which governs amateur wrestling, decided to hand over its full anti-doping programme to the newly created International Testing Agency, according to the agency's chief.

The ITA was set up last month, in the wake of the Russian state-sanctioned doping scandal that emerged from the 2014 Sochi Winter Games. It is intended to back-stop federations and national anti-doping labs, which have proven vulnerable to manipulation.

Its director-general told AFP last week it would regain the "trust" of athletes and fans who lost faith in the fairness of sport.

Six athletes tested positive at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon including South Korean swimming star Park Tae-hwan, who was stripped of his medals.

 

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