Doping scandal: Georgian silver medalist upgraded to gold, 14 Aug 2015 - 14:09, Tbilisi,Georgia

A Georgian weightlifter who won a silver medal at the 2015 European Championships has been recognised as the new European champion after the gold medal winning athlete failed a doping test yesterday.

Irakli Turmanidze clinched the +105kg weight category silver medal at the 2015 European Weightlifting Championships in Tbilisi in April.

In the last 24 hours the International Weightlifting Federation upgraded Turmanidze’s result and offered him the title of European champion and gold medalist after Ukrainian weightlifter Oleg Proshak was found to have taken illegal drugs during the competition.

"Justice has been done,” said Georgia’s Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs Tariel Khechikashvili when he announced the news today.

Turmanidze lifted a total weight of 435kg (201kg in the snatch and 235kg in the clean and jerk) at the tournament.

Ukraine’s Proshak lifted exactly the same weight as Turmanidze but he weighed 800g less than the Georgian athlete, making him the gold medal winner.

Looking ahead, Georgian weightlifters are now focused on the World Weightlifting Championships, which are being held this autumn. At this tournament weightlifters have the opportunity to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Georgian team’s success at the World champs will ultimately determine how many weightlifters will represent Georgia at next year’s Olympic Games.