Olympics: Weightlifting - Romania out of Tokyo Games after one-year doping ban

(Reuters) - Romania cannot participate in the weightlifting event at the Tokyo Olympics after the country's governing body (FRH) was given a one-year ban by the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) for past doping cases on Thursday.

The ban was issued for five anti-doping violations made by Romanian athletes in 2012.

Those included Romania's team of four - Florin Croitoru, Gabriel Sincraian, Razvan Martin and Roxana Cocos - that was disqualified from the London 2012 Olympics after various banned substances were found in re-testing of their samples.

Sincraian also lost a medal from the Rio 2016 Olympics for another failed drug test.

"The International Testing Agency (ITA) confirms that the IWF's Member Federation Independent Sanctioning Panel has imposed a one-year suspension against the Romanian Weightlifting Federation as a consequence of numerous Anti-Doping Rule violations," the IWF said on its website https://www.iwf.net/2021/06/17/romanian-weightlifting-federation-suspended-upon-referral-ita.

"The FRH's case is grounded on five anti-doping rule violations (ADRV) that were committed in 2012 by five different athletes. The five ADRVs were for the presence of anabolic steroids detected in the athletes' samples."

The decision comes as a blow to European champion Loredana-Elena Toma, who will lose a shot at an Olympic gold.

The ruling said the FRH had been suspended for a year from June 15, but could return after eight months provided it paid a $50,000 fine - to be spent on anti-doping activities - and met a number of other conditions.

The Tokyo Olympics, delayed last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is due to begin on July 23.

(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Stephen Coates)

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