Georgian Power lifter Suspended

Georgian Power lifter Shota Omarashvili has been suspended for two years for an Anti-Doping Rule Violation, according to the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).

The power lifter returned an adverse analytical finding for anabolic androgenic steroids in a urine sample provided on 27 August 2012 in an out of competition test prior to the start of the London 2012 Paralympic Games. The substance is included on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) 2012 Prohibited List under the category S1b and endogenous anabolic androgenic steroids when administered exogenously are prohibited under the IPC Anti-Doping Code.

The following endogenous (“endogenous” refers to a substance which is capable of being produced by the body naturally) anabolic androgenic steroids when administered exogenously (“exogenous” refers to a substance which is not ordinarily capable of being produced by the body naturally) are prohibited under the WADA code: androstenediol (androst-5-ene-3β,17β-diol); androstenedione (androst-4-ene-3,17-dione); dihydrotestosterone (17β-hydroxy-5α-androstan-3-one); prasterone (dehydroepiandrosterone, DHEA); testosterone and their metabolites and isomers, including but not limited to:5α-androstane-3α,17α-diol; 5α-androstane-3α,17β-diol; 5α-androstane-3β,17α-diol; 5α-androstane-3β,17β-diol; androst-4-ene-3α,17α-diol; androst-4-ene-3α,17β-diol; androst-4-ene-3β,17α-diol; androst-5-ene-3α,17α-diol; androst-5-ene-3α,17β-diol; androst-5-ene-3β,17α-diol; 4-androstenediol (androst-4-ene-3β,17β-diol); 5-androstenedione (androst-5-ene-3,17-dione); epi-dihydrotestosterone; epitestosterone; 3α-hydroxy-5α-androstan-17-one; 3β-hydroxy-5α-androstan-17-one; 7α-hydroxy-DHEA ; 7β-hydroxy-DHEA ; 7-keto-DHEA; 19-norandrosterone; 19-noretiocholanolone.

Omarashvili will serve a two year suspension for the offence beginning on 6 September 2012, the date from which he was notified of his Anti-Doping Rule Violation and all results obtained from 27 August, the date of the test and onwards, will be disqualified with all the resulting consequences including forfeiture of any medals, points, and prizes. This would include Shota Omarashvili’s result from competing in the men’s 60kg powerlifting event at London 2012 where failed to complete a lift. The power lifter was also handed a financial sanction of 1,500 Euros.

Born on 25 November 1981, Shota Omarashvili was born prematurely with limited use of his legs and could not walk until he was three years old. His father joined the military with the aim of getting better health care for his son and died during the 1992-1993 war in Abkhazia when Shota was nine years old. Omarashvili went through four surgeries and his condition improved in the end but can still walk on his tiptoes. Shota started actively training for Paralympic weightlifting on March 12, 2009.

The IPC, together with the International Federations and the National Paralympic Committees, has established the IPC Anti-Doping Code to prevent doping in sport for Paralympic athletes, in the spirit of fair play that is in conformity with the general principles of the World Anti-Doping Code (WADC).

Meanwhile, Russian powerlifters Nikolay Marfin and Vadim Rakitin tested positive for human growth hormone a week before the Games started. While Marfin was stopped from taking part in the 100-plus kg class, Rakitin competed in the men’s under-90kg class.

Toni Pascual, chair of the International Paralympic Committee‘s anti-doping body, said this case is a world’s first as some of the advanced testing methods were used that were only introduced prior to London 2012 and they can detect misuse of human growth hormone over a span of weeks, compared to previous methods used which only detected use over a shorter time period.

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