Lebanese bodybuilder stripped of bronze
BUSAN (South Korea): A Lebanese bodybuilder has been stripped of his Asian Games bronze medal after refusing to take a dope test, the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) said here Monday.
Youssef El Zein, who won bronze for Lebanon in the 90kg bodybuilding final on Sunday, was relieved of his medal following a meeting of the OCA’s sports committee.
El Zein is the first medallist at the games to be embroiled in a drugs controversy. “I can confirm that the athlete Youssef El Zein has had his medal taken back. He refused to take a drugs test after the bodybuilding final so we had no option,” said OCA sports committee chairman Wei Jizhong.
“The rules are very clear on this,” he added. El Zein’s bronze medal will now go to South Korea’s Choi Jae-Duck, who finished fourth. Lebanese team officials were not immediately available for comment but a source close to the camp said El Zein had left the athletes village in Busan early Monday morning. The scandal will deal a devastating blow to bodybuilding officials’ efforts to see the sport - which is notorious for steroid abuse - one day becoming a fixture at the Olympics. Paul Chua, the vice-president of the International Federation of Bodybuilders (IFBB), had earlier said the sport was attempting to clamp down on the drugs menace. “We have taken very harsh measures to stamp it out and we will not tolerate it,” Chua told AFP, revealing an application had been submitted to the IOC to make the discipline an Olympic sport.
“We follow the exact International Olympic Committee regulations. We are testing at all levels of participation to combat doping,” he said. —AFP