The International Weightlifting Federation has announced it was informed by the International Olympic Committee of 10 positive doping cases from the 2008 Beijing Games and 10 from the 2012 London Games, including medal winners.

In a statement sent, the IWF said the 10 from London were described as confirmed positives while the 10 Beijing tests were “presumed” positives that still require “B” sample analyses. The IWF revealed the positive tests included that of some medal winners but refused to give any names or nationalities. The 20 positive doping cases account for a larger part of the total of 55 positives which the International Olympic Committee has reported so far, including 32 from Beijing and 23 from London.

The IOC started retesting blood and urine samples after many eminent newspapers and whistleblowers alleged systematic cheating from the now-tainted Russian lab at the 2014 Winter Games. The present retesting program is targeting athletes who could possibly be eligible to compete at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in August.

In another development, Russia has started to clean up sports in the country and suspended seven sports stars for doping offenses. It was reported by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) that a judo fighter has been hit with a four-year ban and six weightlifters have been banned for between two and eight years. Larisa Kobeleva, the 2014 world junior champion, has been suspended for four years along with Kseniya Kolomiyets and Anton Kotlayrov. Five-time Russian weightlifting champion Aminat Maskhadova and 2014 European junior silver medalist Yegor Ivanov have each been given doping bans of eight years. The 2015 Russian judo champion, Pyotr Khachirov, has received a four-year suspension and Nadezhda Ovchinnikova, the 2014 European champion, has been banned for two years.

The Russian sports ministry also announced a detailed series of reforms that are aimed at altering social attitudes to doping in Russia. The Ministry, in conjunction with the Council of Europe, will aim to educate young athletes with the message that doping is unacceptable. A ministry statement said all higher education institutions for professionals in the fields of sport and medicine will teach an anti-doping class. The statement further reads that lessons on anti-doping will be rolled out as part of the curriculum in schools across the country as a final step and also remarked that the classes on anti-doping will be taught as part of Physical Education classes, and will be obligatory for all children, meaning that it will reach millions of students across Russia.

Natalia Zhelanova, anti-doping adviser to the minister of sport of Russia, said she was fully committed to clean up sports in the country. Zhelanova added she wants to ensure the next generation of athletes is properly educated about doping issues. The anti-doping adviser also said we recognize that to create real change we must inform athletes from the very beginning of their careers and remarked it is about instilling the right values from the outset, but we hope this initiative will be supported by wider society as this is a change that all Russians must embrace.

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