Eleven Bulgarian weightlifters test positive for steroids

Fri Mar 20, 2015 5:01pm EDT
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By Angel Krasimirov

SOFIA (Reuters) - Eleven Bulgarian weightlifters, including three European champions, have tested positive for doping, the domestic weightlifting federation said on Friday.

The weightlifters tested positive for the banned anabolic steroid stanozolol two weeks ago at a training camp for next month's European championship in Tbilisi, Georgia.

Male lifters Asen Muradov, Ferdi Nazif, Vladimir Urumov, Stoyan Enev, Deyan Minchev, 2005 European champion Demir Demirev and 2014 European champions Ivan Markov and Ivaylo Filev failed the tests in Sofia, the federation said.

Female lifters Nadezhda-Mey Tuy Nguen, Maya Ivanova and Milka Maneva also tested positive.

"It's another major blow to the Bulgarian weightlifting," Bulgarian federation's general secretary Borislav Gidikov told local media.

Stanozolol, first developed in the 1960s, is now available as a cheap and easy-to-detect drug, often sold under the brand names Winstrol and Tenabol. It can be taken either as a liquid suspension, as a tablet, or in injectable form.

"I'm shocked," said Bulgarian national team coach Ivan Ivanov. "Stanozolol is an archaic substance in weightlifting, no one is using it.

"My only explanation of its presence in the bodies of the weightlifters is that they had taken it through the food additives we are using for recovery."   Continued...