T Nation

Bulgaria Out of Beijing

By Anna Mudeva, Editing by Clare Fallon

SOFIA (Reuters) - Bulgaria withdrew its national weightlifting team
from the Beijing Olympics on Friday after 11 members of the team
failed dope tests, the national weightlifting federation said.

The weightlifters, who were hoping to compete for medals at the
August Games, were tested during a training camp in the Balkan
country on June 8-9, the federation said in a statement.

“The federation decided to withdraw the national weightlifting team –
men and women – from the Olympics,” it said.

Sports officials ordered drugs tests for all Bulgarian Olympic-bound
athletes after the weightlifting announcement and called for tougher
measures against anyone involved in doping.

The failed tests deal a blow to Bulgaria which has been on a mission
to clean up weightlifting’s tarnished reputation after a series of
doping scandals and suspensions at previous Olympic Games.

The 11 weightlifters – eight men and three women – tested positive
for the banned anabolic substance methandienon, the federation said.

Among them were medal hopes Ivan Stoitsov, who took two gold medals
at last year’s world championships, and Velichko Cholakov who won
bronze at the Athens Olympics in 2004.

Injury had already ruled out another Bulgarian medal hope Milen
Dobrev, who won the 94-kg title at the Athens Olympics four years ago

“At the doorstep of the Beijing Games our hopes have been damaged,
the work has become meaningless and the tears that were to be shed in
front of the national flag are replaced by tears of helplessness,”
the federation said.

The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) declined to comment.

The Bulgarian State Sports and Youth Agency and the country’s Olympic
committee announced there would be additional tests for all Bulgarian
athletes who had qualified for Beijing.

“It’s better to have a smaller number of medals but clean and honest
than losing the trust of the sports community and suffer doping
scandals,” the agency said in a statement.

It also ordered an investigation into the weightlifting case and said
it would propose legal changes to introduce tougher sanctions against
anyone involved in doping.

Bulgaria’s reputation hit a low at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, where
the team were stripped of three golds and sent home in shame
following positive drugs tests.

Weightlifting has been the sport worst affected by doping and almost
lost its status as an Olympic sport after five doping cases at the
1988 Games.

Only the former Soviet Union has won more medals than Bulgaria in
weightlifting’s major championships.

The Bulgarian Olympic Committee said it would meet on Monday to
discuss the “doping scandal with the weightlifters.”

The national federation’s statement said the banned substance most
likely reached the weightlifters’ bodies through “contaminated”
permitted recovery substances, such as proteins.

“Theoretically, taking it through food or ill intentions are not
ruled out,” it said.

Earlier this month, the IWF gave two-year suspensions to 11 Greek
weightlifters who had tested positive for a banned substance in March.

interesting. this is going to be a weak field this summer

wow. The only thing that really surprises me is that it was an in-country test, not a governing body’s test. An entire team. wow.

Man, Ivan Stoitsov is on my list.

I thought Olympic teams were supposed to be ahead of the time…positive tests for D-Bol?

Ouch. Someone needs a new doping coach.

[quote]Power GnP wrote:
I thought Olympic teams were supposed to be ahead of the time…positive tests for D-Bol?[/quote]

They aren’t. And dbol is an awesome, effective short-term anabolic with mild sides.

Don’t you kind of wish the Bulgarians could lift anyway- not for medals- but just to make it a cool meet with guys hitting big weights. Kind of like having a guest lifter or letting a guy C&J even if he bombed on Snatch.

[quote]Power GnP wrote:
I thought Olympic teams were supposed to be ahead of the time…positive tests for D-Bol?[/quote]

Did you not hear what the Greek team got busted for? Bleeding Methyltrienolone!

[quote]ninearms wrote:
Power GnP wrote:
I thought Olympic teams were supposed to be ahead of the time…positive tests for D-Bol?

Did you not hear what the Greek team got busted for? Bleeding Methyltrienolone![/quote]

And both from tainted protein supplements :wink:

[quote]pushmepullme wrote:
Man, Ivan Stoitsov is on my list. [/quote]

I was really looking forward to watching him this summer. Bummer.

Not surprising in the least, now if we could get Russia and China to do the same. It still kind of amazes me that so many countries are that dishonest when it comes to doping. I would expect several for a sport like weightlifting, but its damn near every country.

11 members? That’s crazy.

Must be included with the room & board at the olympic center.

I’m Bulgarian and it pains me that so much dedication and hard work will be put to shame.

Maybe it’s like seeing a guy, who have been fighting with alcohol problem for years, drunken in the bar, after 3 sober months.

On one side, there are the people who blame the head coach, Plamen Asparuhov, because of previous cases of our athletes, caught with positive tests for medicaments.

On the other side, there are the people, who explain this catastrophy with tainted nutrients, because of the nature of the banned substance - metandienone/metandrostenolone - which is old, cheap and its usage of professional athletes is nothing less than ludicrous, because it’s not that effective and can be traced without much problems.

There are also the people who believe that this is plot against the team, just before the Olympics.

The athletes and the head coach say that they can’t believe this is happening - 8 men and 3 women with positive tests for medicament out of production in Bulgaria for at least 5 years, with price of 50 stotinki (around $ 0.35) for 10 tabletes at the time it was still produced.
Between the men are Velichko Cholakov, Alan Tsagaev, Georgi Markov, Ivan Stoitsov…

Stoitsov says he is sure that the head coach or people from the federation would never act behind his back, and that this is provocation against our weightlifting.

Most of the athletes are saying that they’ll retire from the sport if the allegations aren’t proven wrong with the B-tests, because they are adamant that they haven’t used this substance, just like anyone in his right mind in the sport of weightlifting.

Even more than the Powell/Gay/Bolt clash, I was waiting for them guys to defend our name on the platform.
I hope one thing to happen. To be found what is the true cause of all this fucked up shit. And measures to be taken. I still don’t know if there will be something left to be taken care for, because the future of the sport in Bulgaria looks pessimistic, but I hope…

I’ve seen some of the guys in training, and I still can’t understand how this happened.

@Pinto: D-Bol and 17-alpha-alkylated steroids don’t have exactly “mild” sides. Also D-Bol for sure isn’t top notch medicament or even acceptable for someone who aims Olympics high. I don’t want to defend my compatriots for now, it’s just that IMO this is closer to the truth.

This is a must see movie:


Very well presented, doesn’t seem to lean one way or the other and makes you think.

A very good piece on Ben Johnson and Carl Lewis.

Bulgaria’s back


Meh, it’s a B team, but a team nonetheless.

I haven’t read the news elsewhere yet, but according to this site, the B team isn’t going either.

No, there won’t be B-team at the Olympics.
If B-team was formed, the IWF and IOC should have been informed, because the athletes in this team had to be tested too, and that haven’t been done. Also The BWF have to pay 800 000 euro, like the Greek federation, which is out of the question.

Cool videos, Klip. Interesting to see the pros/cons of a dynamic versus static start. The dynamic start seems to facilitate bigger lifts, but also more inconsistent performance as opposed to a static start.

[quote]mldj wrote:
There are also the people who believe that this is plot against the team, just before the Olympics.

Let’s just put it this way. I have no doubt Greek and Bulgarian lifters have used steroids and most likely some still were. However something really reeks about this situation. Dbol?

Maybe there was just a surge of incompetence by the doping coaches lately.