The International Testing Agency (ITA) has suspended three weightlifters from Kazakhstan, Romania, and Thailand for violating anti-doping rules.
In a statement dated January 18, the ITA said that it had suspended Nizhat Rakhimov from Kazakhstan and Dumitru Captari from Romania, the first two weightlifters ever to be charged with a doping offence that involved allegedly swapping urine samples provided for tests.
The decision was made after the ITA received a case file from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) following WADA’s Intelligence & Investigations report on the International Weightlifting Federation.
Rakhimov, 27, was a gold medalist at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
Captari, 31, had already been suspended for two years for a doping violation in January 2018.
The alleged offences took place “over a period of time in 2016” according to the ITA.
The ITA also suspended Thai weightlifter Rattikan (Siripuch) Gulnoi for the use of a prohibited substance throughout her career.
“Given the sensitivity of the current investigations, the ITA will not comment further during the ongoing proceedings and will issue regular status updates,” the statement says.
The ITA is an independent nonprofit organization that implements anti-doping programs for international sports federations, major event organizers, or any other anti-doping organization requiring support.