LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Wrestler and Russian politician Artur Taymazov has been stripped of a second Olympic gold medal for doping — an action that will award a bronze medal to former University of Nebraska at Kearney standout Tervel Dlagnev.
The International Olympic Committee said Tuesday that Taymazov, who already lost his 2008 gold medal for doping, now has been stripped of the 2012 gold in the 120-kilogram category. The IOC said he tested positive for the banned steroid turinabol when his sample from the 2012 games was retested using more modern lab technology.
Taymazov defeated Dlagnev in the semifinals and Dlagnev lost the bronze medal match to Iranian Komeil Ghasemi.
Documents from the IOC hearing show Taymazov tried to claim turinabol had remained in his body from his earlier positive test in 2008. However, the IOC’s disciplinary commission said a second positive test “rather indicates that the athlete may have in the meantime remained undetected in other occasions.”
Even if Taymazov’s argument were true, the commission ruled, it still would be fair to disqualify him from the 2012 event. It also noted Taymazov couldn’t explain why turinabol was in his system in the first place.
The silver medalist, Davit Modzmanashvili, already was disqualified back in January. That leaves the event with only its two bronze medalists — Ghasemi and Russian Bilyal Makhov — until the IOC decides whether it will reallocate the medals. However, USA Wrestling announced on its Twitter feed that Dlagnev would receive a bronze medal.
Taymazov won a total of three gold medals and one silver between 2000 and 2012, all for Uzbekistan, before pursuing a political career in his native Russia. He has been a member of the Russian lower house of parliament since 2016 and is a deputy chair of its sports, fitness, tourism and youth committee.
Taymazov isn’t the first Russian politician to fall foul of doping rules. In 2017, senator and former track and field athlete Tatyana Lebedeva was stripped of two silver medals for doping. She denies using performance-enhancing drugs.