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Two 2008 Olympic medalists lose medals after drug retests

Soslan Tigiev

Eight years after winning silver medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, two men's freestyle wrestlers have been stripped of their honors for positive doping retests, the International Olympic Committee announced Wednesday.

Uzbekistan's Soslan Tigiev and Taimuraz Tigiyev of Kazakhstan are among nine athletes who have been disqualified from the 2008 Games because samples taken eight years ago only recently retested indicated doping took place at the time.

Tigiev, 33, who competed for Uzbekistan in men's freestyle at 66-74 kilograms/145-163 pounds, originally placed second at the 2008 Olympics, and was awarded a silver medal. Tigiev has been disqualified because a re-analysis of his samples from those Games resulted in a positive test for the prohibited substance dehydrochlormethyltestosterone (turinabol).

Tigieyev, 34, wrestled for Kazakhstan at 84-96 kilograms/185-211 pounds in men's freestyle where he originally placed second and was presented with a silver medal. However, thanks to a retest of his sample submitted during competition in Beijing nearly a decade ago, Tigieyev has been disqualified for using the prohibited substance dehydrochlormethyltestosterone (turinabol).

The Olympic federations of the two athletes' respective countries must return their athletes' silver medals, along with the medalist pin and the diploma each was awarded, according to the IOC.

United World Wrestling, the international wrestling federation, has yet to announce the new medal winners from Beijing at these two weight classes.

Team USA wrestlers in these weight classes at the 2008 Beijing Olympics were Ben Askren (74 kg) and Daniel Cormier (96 kg). Askren placed seventh; Cormier did not compete after making weight for medical reasons and placed 19th.

The additional analyses on samples collected during the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympics have been performed with improved analytical methods, in order to possibly detect prohibited substances that could not be identified by the analysis performed at the time of these editions of the Olympic Games, according to the IOC.

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