Shot put thrower Nadzeya Ostapchuk expelled from Olympics loses gold medal
The 2005 world champion, Nadzeya Ostapchuk won the women’s shot put by a rout, following a mark of 21.36 meters that constituted a new Olympics record for the decade.
The International Olympics Committee (IOC) stated that both of Nadzeya Ostapchuk’s urine samples, first taken a day before the shot put final on August 5, and immediately after her competition the next day tested positive for methenolone. The steroid is included on the IOC’s list of banned substances since it acts as an anabolic agent.
The IOC collected 5,000 urine samples from the athletes participating at the Olympics to curb cheating by doping. No tests had been regulated by the IOC before athletes arrived at the athletes’ village for the London Games. With the ability to store samples for eight-years, the IOC will still be able to continue the drug-testing process long after the London Olympics.
Nadzeya Ostapchuk was the eighth athlete at the London Olympics, and first medalist to be caught in the IOC’s extensive drug-testing program. The 31-year-old Nadzeya Ostapchuk appeared stumped by her disqualification during an interview with the Belarus media. Nadzeya Ostapchuk argued since she was aware of the IOC’s drug-testing policy, it would have been ridiculous of her to dope, while knowing the consequences at such a big international event.
"I do not understand where it could come from," said Nadzeya Ostapchuk. “"I hope for the better. The most important for me is to clear my reputation.”
“I've been in the sports for so many years and have never faced any claims,” Nadzeya Ostapchuk continued speculating on the situation. “And now at the major event and after the gold medal ... I do not understand it."
Before the London Olympics closing ceremony, the IOC met with three officials of the Belarus team on a hearing for Nadzeya Ostapchuk’s alleged doping. The Belarus submitted negative drug-tests results from July 25, July 26 and Aug. 1, before the Nadzeya Ostapchuk left the country. However, the Belarus officials decided not to contests the IOC’s claim after seeing Nadzeya Ostapchuk’s positive drug-test results for the London Olympics.
"They had no explanation as to why such a substance would have been found in the sample of the athlete," stated the IOC.
Nadzeya Ostapchuk’s gold medal went to New Zealand’s Valerie Adams who won gold at the Beijing Olympics, and in succession Russia’s bronze medalist Evgeniia Kolodko was upgraded to silver while runner-up Gong Lijiao of China landed the bronze medal.
"I am speechless with this news," stated the newly claimed gold medalist Valerie Adams. “It is huge and I am absolutely thrilled of course. It makes me extraordinarily proud as a New Zealander.”
Nadzeya Ostapchuk is on-wait for a further notice form track and field's governing body, IAFF, which can ban the athlete from the sport for two-years
"Catching cheats like this sends a message to all those who dope that we will catch them,” declared IOC spokesman Mark Adams.
Valerie Adams had similar views.
"It is also encouraging for those athletes,” said Valerie Adams, “like myself who are proud to compete cleanly, that the system works and doping cheats are caught."