Belarus still recognises Ostapchuk as Olympic champion: minister

August 14th, 2012 - 2:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Minsk, Aug 14 (IANS) Belarus still recognises female shot putter Nadezhda Ostapchuk as an Olympic champion, Deputy Sports and Tourism Minister of Belarus Cheslav Shulga has said.

“Some mistake or misunderstanding may have happened. We still recognise Nadezhda Ostapchuk as our Olympic champion,” Shulga told reporters Monday.

“Let’s wait for the official decision of the International Olympic Committee. The Belarusian side will not take an action for now,” Shulga said, confirming the fact that Ostapchuk went through a drug test July 30 and came clean, reports Xinhua.

Earlier, the International Olympic Committee said Ostapchuk tested positive for the steroid metenolone.

“The Olympic Committee of Belarus is ordered to return to the IOC, as soon as possible, the medal, diploma and medallist pin awarded to the athlete in relation to the above-noted event,” the IOC said in a statement.

Shulga refused to link the event to the scandal involving the disqualification of another Belarusian athlete, Ivan Tikhon.

“The decision on Tikhon was unethical and wrong. I refuse to believe that the Olympic movement has political connections. But facts state otherwise,” he added.

Earlier, the Belarusian team sent home hammer thrower Tsikhan because of suspicions over a sample provided after his silver-medal performance at the 2004 Athens Games.

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