China's lifter Lyu provisionally suspended for positive A-sample-Xinhua

China's lifter Lyu provisionally suspended for positive A-sample

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2022-12-23 14:41:00

BEIJING, Dec. 23 (Xinhua) -- China's Olympic weightlifting champion Lyu Xiaojun, 38, has been provisionally suspended after a positive result from his out-of-competition testing in October.

According to a statement from the International Testing Agency (ITA) on Friday, a sample collected during an out-of-competition testing mission on October 30, 2022, from Lyu returned an Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF) for peptide hormone erythropoietin (EPO), banned substances under the 2022 WADA Prohibited List.

Lyu was crowned world champion five times and won the London 2012 men's 77kg and Tokyo 2020 men's 81kg golds. He has also been confirmed by the International Weightlifting Federation as the Rio 2016 men's 77kg winner since Nijat Rahimov of Kazakhstan was stripped of the gold due to a doping violation.

Lyu said in a statement that he was "greatly shocked" upon the notification from the ITA.

"In my 24 years of weightlifting career, I have competed in numerous major events and have been tested hundreds of times, without any ADRV (Anti-Doping Rule Violations)," he said.

"I have neither any motive nor any reason to use any prohibited substance or prohibited method in the final phase of my beloved weightlifting career. I will cooperate with related organizations for investigation, to find out the real cause of this issue, and to prove my innocence," he added.

"As a senior athlete, I have always strictly abided by the anti-doping policies and regulations of the International Weightlifting Federation, the World Anti-Doping Agency and the China Anti-Doping Agency. I believe that the value of sports lies in fair play and I resolutely oppose the use of any prohibited substance or prohibited method and any other kind of cheating, which is also the bottom line I have always set for myself. The use of a prohibited substance or prohibited method is completely against my values and goes against the anti-doping education I have received," he noted.

According to the Chinese Weightlifting Association, since 2017, Chinese lifters have undergone more than 5,000 doping control tests for both in-competition and out-of-competition, the highest frequency in the world, without any ADRV.

"The Chinese Weightlifting Association has always pursued the goal of 'Zero Appearance' with 'Zero Tolerance' attitude in the anti-doping endeavor," the Chinese weightlifting governing body said in a statement.

"We have noticed Lyu Xiaojun's statement, and we believe that the International Testing Agency and the International Weightlifting Federation will find out the facts and make impartial decisions, cracking down on doping while protecting the legitimate rights of clean athletes."

According to the ITA, Lyu Xiaojun has the right to request the analysis of the B-sample, and the prosecution of the case is being handled entirely by the organization.