Bulgaria’s Yordanova tests positive, out of Olympics

August 16th, 2008 - 7:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Aug 16 (DPA) Bulgarian middle-distance runner Daniela Yordanova will miss the Beijing Olympics after testing positive for the steroid testosterone, it was announced on Saturday. Bulgarian team spokesman Todor Shabinsky said that the B sample was positive. Yordanova, who submitted the sample at a random test on June 13, faces a two-year-ban for the doping offence.

The 32-year-old, who was due to fly to China Saturday, was seen as a dark horse in next week’s Olympic 1,500 metres race. She was fifth at the 2004 Games in Athens and won a bronze at the 2006 European championships.

Yordanova is the latest of several doping affairs that have cast a shadow over the Olympics, although there are fewer than four years ago in Athens.

World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) vice-president and IOC Medical Commission chairman Arne Ljungqvist refuted suggestions that the lack of doping cases at the Olympics to date was evidence that dope cheats were a step ahead of the testers.

“We are on the heels of those who try to cheat. That has been the case over the past five or six years. The situation has improved,” said the Swede.

“My interpretation is that there is a fairly low number half-way through the Games, that is a feature of increased awareness in the sports population that doping is unacceptable.

On Friday the IOC announced that North Korea’s Kim Jong Su was the first athlete to lose an Olympic medal when he was disqualified for failing a dope test.

Kim won bronze in the men’s 10-metre air pistol last Saturday and followed that up with a silver in the 50m pistol on Tuesday but loses both after testing positive for the beta-blocker propranolol.

Earlier Spanish cyclist Maria Isabel Moreno tested positive for the blood booster EPO. The 27-year-old failed a test conducted on July 31 in the Olympic village and flew home the same night “before having heard the results of her tests,” the IOC said.

She was due to compete in the road time trial.

A week before the Games started Russia scrapped some of its greatest medal hopes over doping allegations.

Elena Soboleva, one of those suspended, set the year’s fastest 800m and 1,500m times of the year. Four other track and field athletes were also considered top medal contenders.

Cyclist Vladimir Gusev and race walker Vladimir Kanaiki, who set a world record last year, were also barred from the team.

The IOC is carrying out a record 4,500 tests in Beijing in the Olympic period July 27-August 24. That is 1,000 tests more than in Athens 2004, where 26 athletes were caught cheating.

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