Discus Thrower Banned For Two Years

Discus thrower Zoltan Kovago of Hungary has been banned for a period of two years. The Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld an appeal filed by the IAAF, the governing body of athletics, according to the Hungarian Olympic Committee.

The discus thrower refused to provide a sample to doping officials last year, the Hungarian Olympic Committee said. Doping officials of Hungary initially cleared Kovago but the IAAF appealed against the decision.

The ban on Kovago came soon after another Hungarian discus thrower, Robert Fazekas, was removed from the Olympic team after he tested positive for stanozolol, the banned steroid. The 2004 Olympics gold was thereafter awarded to Virgilijus Alekna of Lithuania.

Fazekas won the Olympic title in Athens initially but was later disqualified for a doping offense and Kovago was upgraded to the silver-medal position in the standings.

A Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) release stated that a CAS panel was satisfied that the discus thrower (Kovago) had refused or evaded sample collection on August 11, 2011 without compelling justification. Kovago denied the charges and remarked that he offered three samples within a four-day period around the time in question.

With a throw of 68.21m, Kovago is fifth in the current world lists. His personal best throw is 69.95 m that was achieved in May 2006 in Salon-de-Provence. Kovago finished first in 1998 World Junior Championships in France with a throw of 59.36 m and second in 2004 World Athletics Final in Monaco. In the year 2005, Kovago finished third in the 2005 World Athletics Final in Monaco and secured the third position in the 2012 European Championships in Finland.

“To my honor, I did not dope, which unfortunately I am unable to prove with a series of negative tests,” Kovago wrote in a statement.

The discus thrower had been exonerated by the Doping Committee of the Hungarian National Anti-Doping Organisation that prompted the International Athletics Association (IAAF) to appeal to CAS. The decision was acknowledged by the Hungarian Athletic Association that cannot be appealed but said there is no violation evidence. Marton Gyulai, the federation’s secretary general, said there is no material proof that Kovago refused a doping test and added that there is only a single anti-doping official with contradictory statements on the opposing side while the athlete provided copious material proof.

He produced a new world lead of 69.50m at the Budapest GP 2011. Born in Szolnok, Kovago became interested in athletics in his early childhood and qualified for the finals among the adults in the 2002 European Championships in Munich. At the 2011 Hungarian Championships in Szekszárd, Zoltan Kovago’s winning throw was 67.17m that gave him an easy victory over Gabor Maté who was second with 59.08m. The 33-year-old has long been one of the top discus throwers in the world and won the world junior title in 1998 before taking silver at the 2004 Olympics. The Hungarian Olympic silver medalist 2004, Kovago, threw a massive 69.50m in Budapest, at the Budapest Grand Prix 2011.

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