Azerbaijan powerlifters banned for life

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