IOC Strips Devytoskiy and Tsikhan of Olympic Hammer Medals, by Bob Ramsak, Note by Larry Eder

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Testing does work. What I find fascinating is that every time someone is caught in track & field, the nay sayers come out of the woodwork. And so do new ways of cheating. This year, the sting on the Russian women distance runners caught the world and the cheating athletes off guard. This finding by the IOC, rumored for months now, has elevated Krisztian Pars of Hungary and Japanese super star Koji Murifushi to silver and bronze, respectively.

To get away with using banned substances, one must spend a substantial amount of time and money focused on cheating. Breaking the cycle, which means, focusing testing on the top 25 global athletes and testing 8 to 12 times a year, giving them little chance of cycling any known or unknown substances. It is not perfect, but gives athletes a wider playing field.

IOC STRIPS DEVYATOVSKIY AND TSIKHAN OF OLYMPIC MEDALS

TRACK PROFILE Report #840
11-December-2008

By Bob Ramsak
(c) 2008 TRACK PROFILE Report, all rights reserved

Belarussian hammer throwers Vadim Devyatovskiy and Ivan Tsikhan have been stripped of their 2008 Olympic medals after failing drug tests at the Beijing Games, the International Olympic Committee announced today.

Devyatovskiy, who took silver and Tsikhan, who claimed the bronze, both tested positive for traces of testosterone on August 17 following the hammer throw final. Their disqualification will elevate Krisztian Pars of Hungary into the silver medal position and Japan’s Koji Murofushi, the 2004 Olympic champion, to bronze. Primoz Kozmus of Slovenia won the gold medal, the first in Olympic track and field competition for the small central European nation.

Devyatovskiy, 31, now faces a lifetime ban. He served a previous two-year suspension in 2001-02. The 32-year-old Tsikhan (also transliterated as Tikhon), a three-time defending world champion, faces a two-year ban.

Tsikhan competed only once this season prior to the Olympics, throwing 84.51m (277-3), the farthest throw in the world this year. His career best of 86.73m (284-6) from 2005, is just one centimeter shy of Yuriy Sedykh’s world record set in 1986, the second oldest men’s world record among standard Olympic events. Devyatovskiy’s personal best of 84.90m (278-6) from 2005 ranks him as the No. 4 hammer thrower of all time.

In all, 4,770 doping tests were carried out in Beijing, the largest ever testing program for an Olympic Games. The tests included 3,801 urine and 969 blood tests. Urine tests included 817 EPO tests, and blood tests covered 471 human Growth Hormone (hGH) tests. As a general rule, all top five finishers, plus a further two, were tested.

Special thanks to Bob Ramsak.

For more on our sport, please check http://www.iaaf.org

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