World champion Alexei Lovchev of Russia has been suspended for failing a doping test, the International Weightlifting Federation said on its website today.
The 26-year-old, who is also the 105kg world record holder, was found to have traces of the banned substance Ipamorelin in his ‘A’ sample.
“I think this problem has a political motive,” Lovchev told the All Sport news agency. “All this is very similar to what is happening against Russian sport.
“I won’t give up. I will take all the necessary anti-doping steps to show I am not guilty and this includes taking a ‘B’ sample.”
A taskforce from the governing body of world athletics is making a first visit to Russia on January 10-11 to check on progress toward cleaning up the doping scandal that led to the country’s suspension from the sport last month.
The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has set out a series of steps that Russia must take to be reinstated before the Rio Olympics in August.
The suspension followed a report by an independent commission of the World Anti-Doping Agency that exposed widespread, systematic state-sponsored doping and related corruption.