Second Uzbek athlete caught doping at Asian Games

GUANGZHOU, China Wed Nov 24, 2010 1:25pm IST

GUANGZHOU, China (Reuters) - The Olympic Council of Asia has urged Uzbekistan to investigate doping in their delegation after a second athlete was disqualified from the Asian Games on Wednesday for the same banned stimulant.

Greco-Roman wrestler Jakhongir Muminov, who was beaten by China's Ma Sanyi during the repechage round in the 84kg class, had tested positive for methylhexaneamine, the same stimulant that led to a ban for Uzbek judoka Shokir Muminov last week, an OCA official said on Wednesday.

Methylhexaneamine, a nasal decongestant commonly used by body builders, was added to the World Anti-Doping Agency's banned list this year and has led to bans for a raft of athletes across various sports in recent weeks.

"The athlete has been disqualified from these Games and his performance in his competition has been nullified," OCA medical committee chairman Mani Jegathesan told reporters.

Jegathesan said the OCA was viewing the cases separately and confirmed that the athletes were not related.

"But (because) both cases involve the same stimulant and the same country, OCA has advised the country's NOC (National Olympic Committee) to further investigate to prevent the incident from happening again," he added.

Anti-doping officials had found the stimulant in a urine sample taken from the athlete at a pre-competition test, Jegathesan said.

FURTHER SANCTIONS

Muminov is a 23-year-old student from the Uzbek capital of Tashkent, according to his official Games profile, and finished ninth in the 74kg category at the world championships in Denmark last year.

Like judoka Muminov, who had his silver medal stripped last week, the test results had been forwarded to the sport's governing body and Uzbek authorities. Both athletes face further sanctions.

A spokesman for Uzbekistan's delegation declined to comment when contacted by telephone.

Doping shame also engulfed the Uzbek team at the Doha 2006 Games, where two of their athletes were among four weightlifters disqualified for failing drug tests.

Anti-doping officials plan to perform about 1,500 tests on the nearly 10,000 athletes from 45 countries expected to compete at the Games.

"As of yesterday, Nov. 23, we have conducted a total of 1,162 tests. And we have received the results of 1,090 of them. Of these results there are at least two positive cases," Jegathesan said, referring to the two Uzbeks.

A raft of athletes across an array of sports have tested positive for methylhexaneamine in recent weeks.

South Africa rugby international Chiliboy Ralepelle and winger Bjorn Basson returned positive tests after the Springboks' victory over Ireland on Nov. 6.

Two Nigerian athletes were also provisionally suspended from the Commonwealth Games in Delhi last month for the same stimulant.

(Editing by Patrick Johnston; To query or comment on this story email sportsfeedback@thomsonreuters.com)

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