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Five Lifters Suspended by IWF in Athens
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The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) Thursday suspended five weightlifters for failing drug tests they took out of competition at the Athens Games.

The IWF announced in a press release that five weightlifters, Wafa Amomouri of Morocco, Viktor Chislean of Moldova, Zoltan Kecskes of Hungary, Kumari Pratima Na of India and Sule Sahbaz of Turkey have tested positive in out-of-competition doping tests.

The IWF said that all the five weightlifters concerned have been provisionally suspended according to the IWF anti-doping policy.

The International Olympic Committee welcomed the IWF decision, praising "the work and determination" of the IWF in its fight against doping.

Two of those who were suspended by IWF pulled out just before walking to the lifting platform.

Among those suspended, Sahbaz had won a European championship in 2002 and a bronze medal in the 75kg at the World Championships in 2003. She finished second at the European Championships in April. Kecskes had an eighth-place finish in the men's 69kg at the World Championships in Vancouver in 2003.

Ammouri and Kecskes were to compete on Wednesday, but were suspended just before their competitions. Kecskes was on the start list distributed to the media less than an hour before he was to show up, but he didn't make it.

Normally, suspensions are for two years unless the athlete is a repeat offender. Earlier this year, 2000 Olympic champion Galabin Boevski was banned for eight years after he failed a second drug test.
(Xinhua News Agency August 19, 2004)

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