Nadzeya Ostapchuk of Belarus was stripped of her Olympic shot-put gold medal after testing positive for a banned substance, the International Olympic Committee said.
The 31-year-old tested positive for the anabolic agent metenolone before and after she won the event in London on Aug. 6, the IOC said today in an e-mailed statement. She denies doping and said she will seek to clear her name.
“We will see how to act, how to fight back, because all this is just impossible,” Ostapchuk told television station ONT in Minsk, Belarus.
Ostapchuk, who won bronze at the 2008 Beijing games, is the first athlete to be stripped of a medal at the London Olympics, which finished yesterday. Her disqualification means New Zealand’s Valerie Adams, 27, gets the gold, her second after her victory in Beijing.
Evgeniia Kolodko of Russia is second and China’s Lijiao Gong moves into bronze.
Dave Currie, the leader of New Zealand’s Olympic team in London, said Adams was “overcome, delighted and a bit tearful” after he broke the news to her by phone today.
Adams is in Switzerland to prepare for another track and field competition, Currie said in an interview. She traveled there from London yesterday.
The Belarus Olympic committee must return Ostapchuk’s medal, the IOC said. Phone calls today to the office of the committee in Minsk went unanswered.
It lifts New Zealand’s gold-medal tally to six, reducing the Belarus total to two.