Nijat Rahimov of Kazakhstan has been stripped of his 2016 Rio Olympics Gold medal and has been banned for eight years for a doping offence, Court of Arbitration for Sports has announced.
The 28 year old won Gold medal for weightlifting in the 77-Kg category setting a new world record with a clean and jerk lift of 214 kilograms.
He has been busted for doping offence for a second time in his career. The soon-to-be-former gold medalist was previously banned for two years in 2013 for the use of prohibited anabolic steroids.
This time he has been found guilty of “substituting his urine” four times which, under weightlifting anti-doping rules, is “use of a prohibited method”.
“In January 2021, further to a WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) investigation (“Operation Arrow”) into irregularities in sample collection in the sport of weightlifting, the International Testing Agency (ITA), served a Notice of Charge on Nijat Rahimov,” CAS said in a statement.
“The Sole Arbitrator found Nijat Rahimov to be responsible for four urine substitutions which constitute ADRVs (Anti-Doping Rule Violations) of “Use of a Prohibited Method” under Article 2.2 of the IWF Anti-Doping Rules.”
“The Sole Arbitrator determined that the appropriate sanction would be an eight-year period of ineligibility and the disqualification of all competitive results from 15 March 2016.”
Rahimov will remain banned until January 2029 after the verdict which he can still challenge at the CAS appeal division.
His integrity was publicly questioned by rival Mohamed Mahmoud of Egypt, who finished third in the 77-kilogram class in Rio. This verdict will bump Mahmoud to the silver medal with Chinese Lyu Xiaojun likely to be upgraded to become a three-time Olympic champion.