Three times Olympic gold medallist weightlifter Lu Xiaojun was provisionally suspended after testing positive for erythropoietin (EPO), a report by insidethegames.biz stated on Thursday.
According to the outlet, his sample was taken on October 30 as per International Testing Agency (ITA) and he became the first international weightlifter from China to have tested positive since 2015. He is also the first male weightlifter from China to be handed a suspension since 2010, the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) website stated.
According to insidethegames.biz, a statement from the ITA stated, “EPO is prohibited under the 2022 WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) Prohibited List as peptide hormone (S2). EPO is a non-specified substance; a provisional suspension is mandatory following an adverse analytical finding for such a substance under the IWF Anti-Doping Rules.The athlete has been informed of the case and has been provisionally suspended until the resolution of the matter.”
Last year in the Tokyo Olympics, the 37-year-old Lu won gold in the 77 kg category which made him the oldest gold medallist in Olympic weightlifting history. He also won gold at London 2012 and was promoted from second to first at Rio 2016 on the disqualification of Nijat Rahimov of Kazakhstan in March this year for sample swapping.
The Chinese weightlifter has not competed since Tokyo and was preparing for the Paris Olympics in 2024, as shared by an Instagram post back in July. “Hello everyone! I am Chinese weightlifter Lu Xiaojun. I would like to officially announce today I will start preparing for Paris 2024. This will be my fourth Olympics. It is my duty to persevere and show the strength of China. I hope you will support me,” Lu told the camera.