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Olympian banned for tampering with urine sample

4/6/2004

SOFIA, Bulgaria -- Bulgarian Olympic weightlifting champion
Galabin Boevski plans to appeal an eight-year ban for tampering
with his urine sample at last year's world championships.

Boevski, who won gold in Sydney in 2000, said Tuesday that he
will sue the International Weightlifting Federation at the Court of
Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland.

"I will fight until the end. I will not surrender that easily.
It's not me who has to prove my innocence -- they have to prove my
guilt," Boevski said.

The international federation ruled last month that Boevski and
teammates Zlatan Vanev and Georgi Markov tampered with their tests
at the world championships in November in Vancouver, British
Columbia.

According to federation officials, the urine samples of the
three Bulgarian athletes were identical and came from one person.

Markov and Vanev, both world champions, were also given 18-month
suspensions, meaning that they will miss the Athens Olympics this
summer.

IWF president Tamas Ajan was quoted as saying Boevski got a
longer ban because it was the second time he had failed a drug test
since 1995.

Bulgarian IOC member Ivan Slavkov had a brief comment on the
case: "Our weightlifters are guilty."