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Wednesday, September 22, 2004
Azerbaijan powerlifters banned for life

Associated Press

ATHENS, Greece -- Two powerlifters from Azerbaijan tested positive for steroids in initial drug tests and are banned for life from the Paralympics.

Sara Abbazova, in the 165-pound class, tested positive for the steroid nandrolone, and Gunduz Ismayilov (198 pounds) for the steroid stanazolol, International Paralympic Committee spokeswoman Miriam Wilkens said Wednesday.

The two are permanently banned from the games because this is their second violation, Wilkens added. Abbazova tested positive at the 2001 powerlifting championships in Hungary and Ismayilov at the Sydney 2000 Paralympics.

The tests were carried out Sept. 18 before powerlifting events began Sept. 20. Neither athlete has competed at the games. The athletes have seven days to appeal and ask for their second samples to be tested, Wilkens said.

The IPC has carried out 335 doping tests of about 700 planned for the 11-day games. The IPC tests for all substances banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency, which sets Olympic rules. In Sydney, 10 Paralympic athletes tested positive for banned substances in powerlifting.