Special report: 2008 Olympic
SOFIA, June 30 (Xinhua) -- The Bulgarian Olympic Committee (BOC) has
decided not to stop the national weightlifting team from participating in the
Beijing Olympics despite a doping scandal, local press reported Monday.
The scandal flared up last Friday when Bulgarian Weightlifting Federation
(BWF) president Anton Kodjabashev confirmed that eleven members of the national
weightlifting team have been found to have used prohibited substances.
All of Bulgaria's best weightlifters who have been preparing for the
Beijing Olympics were found to have used doping: samples taken from them on June
8 and 9 tested positive for the anabolic steroid methanedienone.
BOC president Stefka Kostadinova said that the Bulgarian delegation to the
Olympics will have a weightlifting team. She said they would ask BWF to prepare
and send a team to Beijing, even if it is a back-up team.
Kostadinova said that she hoped for negative B-samples.
"Unfortunately, there is hardly a case of positive A-samples and negative
B-samples," she added. The results of the B-samples are due a month from now.
She hopes that the International Olympic Committee would not punish the
Bulgarian weightlifters and that BWF would produce a well-prepared team B.
If, however, IOC take a decision for a punishment, BOC will have to punish
BWF, including by revoking its license - probably for two years.
Also, the coach of the weightlifting team and the federation president will
be sanctioned, and the subsidies for weightlifting will be cut down.