Albanian Weightlifter Is Banned for Doping

Saturday, July 28th, 2012

The first athlete to be sanctioned for doping during the London Games is an Albanian weightlifter, Hysen Pulaku, who tested positive for stanozolol, an anabolic steroid:

Pulaku was selected as part of random, out-of-competition testing, according to an IOC spokeswoman. He gave urine samples on July 23, which were analyzed separately on different days. Both came back positive.


Pulaku is the third weightlifter from Albania to test positive this year, a concerning pattern, Muca said.

Stanozolol is easy to detect, but only for a few weeks:

The primary metabolites are unique to stanozolol and are detectable in the urine for up to 10 days after a single 5-10 mg oral dose.

It has a history of (mis)use:

  • Ben Johnson was stripped of his gold medal in the 100 meter sprint at the 1988 Summer Olympics when he tested positive for stanozolol after winning the final.[5]
  • Olimpiada Ivanova was stripped of her silver medal in the 10 kilometer walk at the 1997 World Championships in Athletics after she had tested positive for Stanozolol, and she was banned for two years.[6]
  • Vita Pavlysh was stripped of her gold medal in shot put at the 1999 IAAF World Indoor Championships after she had tested positive for Stanozolol. 5 years later at the 2004 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Budapest, Hungary, she won the title again only to fail the drug test for the same reason. She was again stripped of her title and banned from athletics for life.[7]
  • Liudmyla Blonska, a Ukrainian heptathlete, tested positive for traces of Stanozolol shortly after finishing thirteenth at the 2002 European Championships in Athletics and in June 2003 was handed a two year ban, whereafter she returned to the sport.[8] At the 2008 Beijing Games, she was stripped of a silver medal and given a lifetime ban after testing positive for stanozolol again.[9]
  • Rafael Palmeiro was suspended 10 days from Major League Baseball on August 1, 2005, after testing positive for steroids.[10] According to the published report in The New York Times, Stanozolol was the steroid detected in Palmeiro’s system. This came not long after he testified before the United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on steroid usage in baseball, and he denied ever using steroids.
  • Barry Bonds is accused of using Stanozolol in Game of Shadows, a book by Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams. The accusations were first aired on 7 March 2006 by Sports Illustrated, which published excerpts from the book.[11]
  • Salvador Carmona, footballer, tested positive for Stanozolol in 2005 and 2006. He was banned for life by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) due to repeated drug offences. Tribunal Arbitral du Sport.[12]
  • Magnus Hedman, footballer, was charged and convicted by Swedish court in June 2009 when he tested positive for Stanozolol. At the time he was a “ambassador” for Swedish anti-steroid organization Ren Idrott (“Clean Sports”) and sports commentator for Swedish TV4. He lost both assignments as a consequence.[13]
  • Phil Baroni, former UFC and PRIDE Fighting Championship fighter, tested positive for Stanozolol following his June 22, 2007 fight against Frank Shamrock at Strikeforce: Judgment Day.[14]
  • K-1′s 2007 World Grand Prix in Las Vegas finalist Zabit Samedov tested positive for Stanozolol following the August 11, 2007 event.[15]
  • Roger Clemens was reported to have been injected with stanozolol (Winstrol) by major league strength coach Brian McNamee during the 1998 baseball season.[16]
  • 2008 Triple Crown hopeful Big Brown was reported to have been injected with Winstrol, which is legal in some states in US horse racing, by trainer Richard E. Dutrow, Jr. [17]
  • Chris Leben, mixed martial artist, tested positive for the substance after UFC 89 where he was defeated by Michael Bisping and was suspended for 9 months.[18]
  • Kirill Sidelnikov, mixed martial artist, tested positive for the substance after Affliction: Day of Reckoning where he was defeated by Paul Buentello and was suspended for 1 year and fined $2,500.[19]
  • Tim Sylvia, mixed martial artist, tested positive for the drug Stanozolol after a Nevada State Athletic Commission test. As a result, Sylvia was stripped of his title, served a 6-month suspension, and was fined $10,000. Sylvia has stated that he used the drug to shed excess body fat and lose weight. [20]
  • Cristiane Santos tested positive for anabolic steroids and as a result of the banned substance, her fight against Hiroko Yamanaka result has been changed to a “No Contest” while Santos has had her license suspended and was fined $2500. Additionally, UFC president Dana White stripped Santos of her Strikeforce 145 lb. women’s championship belt. [21]
  • Hysen Pulaku, an Albanian weightlifter, was expelled from the London 2012 Olympics after testing positive for Stanozolol on July 23, 2012. [22]

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