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Wrestler stripped of London 2012 gold medal

Sky News logo Sky News 24/7/2019 Emily Mee, news reporter

A freestyle wrestler who won gold at the London 2012 Olympics has been stripped of his medal.

Artur Taymazov holding a flower: Uzbekistan's most decorated Olympian Artur Taymazov has been stripped of his London 2012 gold medal © Getty Uzbekistan's most decorated Olympian Artur Taymazov has been stripped of his London 2012 gold medal

Uzbekistan's Artur Taymazov is the 60th athlete and eighth gold medallist to be disqualified from the 2012 games after stored anti-doping samples were reanalysed.

The wrestler was also disqualified after winning gold at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) discovered he had been using the oral steroid turinabol.

Taymazov won a silver medal at the Sydney Olympics in 2000 and became Olympic champion in Athens four years later, becoming the first Uzbek athlete to win more than one Olympic medal.

He successfully defended his 120kg title at Beijing and London, then retired to become a politician in Russia.

The former wrestler now represents President Vladimir Putin's party in the state of Duma.

In a statement, the IOC said it "has been storing samples from the Olympic Games since Athens 2004 and has reanalysed them systematically."

"The fight against doping is a top priority for the IOC, which has established a zero-tolerance policy to combat cheating and to make anyone responsible for using or providing doping products accountable."

A total of 24 medallists have been caught doping in the reanalysis programme - despite London 2012 being billed as the "cleanest Games" at the time, with only nine positive tests immediately before or during the event.

The statute of limitations on doping offences was extended from eight to 10 years in 2015 but that cannot be backdated.

The IOC will have until next summer to announce any more positive tests from London 2012.

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