North Korean loses medals after failed dope test

August 15th, 2008 - 7:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Aug 15 (DPA) North Korea’s Kim Jong Su became the first athlete to lose an Olympic medal for doping when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced Friday that he had been 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.

“He has been excluded from the Games and disqualified,” IOC communications director Giselle Davies said, following Friday’s IOC Executive Board meeting on the issue.

“His medals and diplomas will be withdrawn and his Olympic identity and accreditation have also been immediately withdrawn and cancelled.

Jong’s disqualification means Tan Zongliang of China takes silver in the 50m and Russia’s Vladimir Isakov is promoted to bronze.

In the 10m air pistol, American Jason Turner now takes bronze.

Vietnamese gymnast Do Thi Ngan Thuong, who finished 59th in qualifying for the women’s all-around gymnastics, also failed a dope test and was disqualified but World Anti-Doping Agency vice-president and IOC Medical Commission chairman, Professor Arne Ljungqvist, said this was more likely due to error.

“This is probably a result of poor information given to the athlete involved,” he said.

Ljungqvist also 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.”

The IOC revealed Friday that 2,203 dope tests have been carried out to date, 1,250 before the Olympics started.

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