By Emily Goddard

Uzbekistan NPC logoJune 17 - Uzbekistani powerlifter Ruza Kuzieva has been handed a two-year ban after testing positive for a prohibited substance at the fifth Fazaa International Powerlifting Competition earlier this year, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) confirmed today.

Kuzieva returned an adverse analytical finding for Methandienone, which is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and therefore prohibited under the IPC Anti-Doping Code, in a urine sample provided during the competition in Dubai on February 23.

The athlete's suspension, which began on April 19, means she will now lose all results, medals, points, records and prizes from February 23 onwards, including the bronze medal she won she set the junior world record with a lift of 52kg.

She also received a financial sanction of €1,500 (£1,270/€2,000).

"The principle of strict liability applies to anti-doping matters," read an IPC statement.

"Therefore, each athlete is strictly liable for the substances found in his or her sample, and that an anti-doping rule violation occurs whenever a prohibited substance (or its metabolites or markers) is found in his or her bodily specimen, whether or not the athlete intentionally or unintentionally used a prohibited substance or was negligent or otherwise at fault.

"As a signatory of the World Anti-Doping Code (WADC), the IPC remains committed to a doping free sporting environment at all levels."

Doping has proved to be a serious problem in powerlifting - seven athletes tested positive for banned drugs in 2011 and the IPC became so concerned about the situation that it tested every competitor in the sport before the London 2012 Paralympics to avoid a repeat of Sydney where ten competitors were caught using drugs during the Games.

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