Beijing-2008-Summer-Olympics-SteroidsThe captain of Bulgaria’s volleyball team has been temporarily removed after a doping test, according to reports.

Plamen Konstantinov’s screening showed “substances that were in the upper range of the permissible levels,” said Bulgarian Volleyball Federation chief Dancho Lazarov said in an interview with Darik Radio, a Bulgarian radio station.

Lazarov, however, did not identify the substance.

“Plamen himself wanted to get retested and that is why he left for Bulgaria. If the new results are negative, he may return to Beijing,” Lazarov said.

The volleyball’s team doctor, Zahariev Dinko, provided an evasive answer when asked if the Konstantinev was clean.

“That’s what his statement is,” stated Dinko.

Bulgaria coach Martin Stoev likewise would not shed light on the issue. He said he and his players would not comment on the case.

The chairman of Bulgaria’s anti-doping commission said Konstantinov had not failed any doping test.

“His blood showed high levels of testosterone and, although they were below the maximum admissible levels, the volleyball federation decided to take an extra precaution and remove him from the match,” Kamen Plochev told National TV. “In their panic, the federation made a hasty decision.”

Bulgaria defeated Japan 3-1 (29-17, 23-25, 25-21, 25-19) in Tuesday’s preliminary pool match.

Incidentally, the inclusion of volleyball in the Olympics actually started in Bulgaria. Here’s a bit of interesting history for volleyball buffs.

In 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris, the sport of volleyball was played as part of an American demonstration event. In 1947, Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) was founded in Paris, France. Both of these events called for the official inclusion of volleyball in the international games.

In 1957, a special tournament was played at the 53rd International Olympic Committee session in Sofia, Bulgaria to push for its inclusion. The competition was considered a triumph and thus volleyball was officially included in the program for the 1964 Summer Olympics held in Tokyo, Japan. The USSR men’s volleyball team won the gold while Japan took the gold in women’s division.

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