Romanian weightlifter Florin Croitoru has been disqualified from the London 2012 Olympic Games after re-analysis of his samples from the event resulted in a positive test for three prohibited substances.
In March, Romania's achievement in winning 12 medals at the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) Youth World Championships in Las Vegas was tempered by the news that Croitoru had become the 55th weightlifter to test positive in the re-testing of samples from the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympics.
The 25-year-old, who has won three junior and two senior European titles, was provisionally suspended after testing positive for anabolic steroids.
The test on Croitoru's sample from London 2012 – where he finished ninth in the men's 56 kilograms category – was carried out by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as part of their retests from Beijing 2008 and London 2012.
It resulted in a positive test for the prohibited substances metenolone, stanozol and dehydrochlormethyltestosterone, which is also known as oral turinabol.
Croitoru won European senior titles in 2013 and 2014, the first of them when he finished fourth as a teenager but all three men ahead of him, from Azerbaijan twice and Moldova, were disqualified for doping.
As the International Testing Agency (ITA) is now operational, the IOC has delegated the selection of samples to be re-analysed and the results management to the ITA, which will therefore review all the test results and notify the athletes concerned.
The notification gives them the choice to have their case heard before the Court of Arbitration for Sport or before an IOC Disciplinary Commission.
This choice is given as the Anti-Doping Rules for London 2012 still apply for cases that arise from the current re-analyses.
The IWF recently wrote to each of its 193 member federations with a stark warning that a repeat of the doping problems of the past could have "irrevocable" consequences for the sport.
"Our fight against doping and for clean weightlifting is not ended at all," IWF President Tamás Aján said in a letter to all member federations that is also signed by general secretary Mohammed Jalood.
Two months ago the sport was celebrating when the IOC lifted its "conditional inclusion" status for weightlifting on the Olympic programme.
The sport had been effectively put on probation beyond Tokyo 2020 because of its poor record on doping violations, 55 of which were revealed by tests carried out by the IOC on stored samples from Beijing 2008 and London 2012.
The March 26 decision to welcome weightlifting back on a permanent basis was made by the IOC’s Executive Board after the IWF toughened its stance against doping with a number of radical changes, most notably the adoption of a new Olympic qualifying system that rewarded "clean" nations.
It was subject to the IWF putting its anti-doping programme in the hands of the ITA, a process that began last November and ended on May 7 when the second agreement was signed at the SportAccord convention in Gold Coast in Australia.
Today's announcement follows yesterday's news that Rio 2016 Olympic gold medallist Ruslan Nurudinov of Uzbekistan was one of two weightlifters to be disqualified from London 2012 for doping, along with Belarus' Mikalai Novikau.