Four Athletes Lose Medals in Final Beijing 2008 Retests

(ATR) Three Chinese weightlifters and a Belarusian shotputter failed doping retests from the Beijing 2008 Games.

BEIJING - AUGUST 09:  Chen Xiexia of China competes in the Women's 48kg Group A Weightlifting event held at the Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics Gymnasium on Day 1 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 9, 2008 in Beijing, China.  Chen Xiexia won the Gold medal, the first of the games.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
BEIJING - AUGUST 09: Chen Xiexia of China competes in the Women's 48kg Group A Weightlifting event held at the Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics Gymnasium on Day 1 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 9, 2008 in Beijing, China. Chen Xiexia won the Gold medal, the first of the games. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

(ATR) Three Chinese weightlifters and a shotputter from Belarus have failed doping retests from the Beijing 2008 Summer Games.

Lei Cao, Xiexia Chen and Chunhong Liu have put the Chinese Weightlifting Association in jeopardy of suspension as a result of cheating at the Olympics. According to the International Weightlifting Federation, any country with three or more positive doping tests will be suspended from international competition for a year.

The IWF has yet to comment regarding the latest round of sanctions for its athletes and whether the CWA will be suspended throughout 2017.

Each of the three weightlifters won gold at the Games in their home country but now must return the medals and diplomas received from the International Olympic Committee. The Chinese weightlifters were sanctioned by the IOC along with two Belarusian shotputters who placed third and fourth at Beijing.

The IOC says these five athletes will be the last to receive sanctions from Beijing 2008 retests due to the eight-year statute of limitations.

Three weightlifters from Armenia, Azerbaijan and Turkey also received sanctions from the IOC on Jan. 12 for failed doping retests from the London 2012 Olympics.

Throughout 2016, the IOC says it uncovered 101 Adverse Analytical Findings from its doping retest program. Thus far, 96 athletes have been sanctioned by the IOC as a result, with nearly half of the sanctions (47) coming from the sport of weightlifting. Athletics has the second largest number of sanctions with 39 from the Beijing and London Games.

The London 2012 retests will continue through the next edition of the Summer Games in Tokyo, Japan.

Written by Kevin Nutley

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