Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko has called a possible ban on Russian weightlifters from the 2016 Olympics “a violation of the rules,” the R-Sport news agency reported.
The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) may disqualify the team from international competition for a year if more than three samples taken after the 2008 and 2012 Olympics come back positive after re-testing.
“How is this possible to punish a team about to go to the Olympics for violations in 2008 or 2012? I don’t know,” Mutko said.
Kazakhstan and Belarus also face the exclusion of their teams from the competition.
The IWF deprived Russia of two athlete slots in Rio Olympics due to multiple positive doping tests during the qualification period.
Two Russian weightlifters, Maria Shainova and Nadezhda Evstyukhina, were accused of taking performance-enhancing drugs after their samples from the 2008 Olympics in Beijing were re-examined.
Weightlifter Apti Aukhadov’s 2012 sample was also positive. If his second sample contains similar substances, the Russian team will be suspended from the Olympics.
The IWF statement comes several days after The International Olympic Committee unanimously supported the decision of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) to uphold the suspension of the Russian track and field team from the 2016 Games over doping allegations.
Source: The Moscow times