From Inside the Games

Azerbaijan has been hit by a double blow today after the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) threatened a declaration of non-compliance before a third weightlifter was confirmed as having failed a test following re-analysis of Beijing 2008 samples.

In a statement posted on their website, the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) revealed how under 62 kilogram lifter Sardar Hasanov had tested positive for anabolic steroid dehydrochlormethyltestosterone after he failed to finish his competition in the Chinese capital.

Turkey’s under 48 kilograms silver medallist Sibel Özkan and Armenia’s under 69kg bronze medallist Tigran Martirosyan have also been named.

Hasanov’s failure follows cases involving Intigam Zairov and reigning world champion Boyanka Kostova.

Once these cases are formally ratified by the international Olympic Committee (IOC), they will join Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia in being suspended due to having produced three re-testing faiilures.

Bulgaria have already been suspended after suffering 11 failures within a calendar year.

In reality, the Azerbaijan decision matters little because the country had already forfeited two quota places due to six failures within the two-year qualification window.

They had only qualified two lifters, meaning they were already barred from sending anyone.

Azerbaijan had already vowed to appeal this decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

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