Georgia's Benik Abramian suspended after testing positive in Olympic doping control

Abramyan tested positive for three substances after samples were taken from the athletics competitor on Saturday. Photo: AFP via Getty Images., 04 Aug 2021 - 15:13, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia's Benik Abramyan has been provisionally suspended by authorities of the Summer Olympic Games after testing positive for three substances on Saturday.

Abramyan, part of Georgia's squad for the athletics discipline of shot-put, was tested in an out-of-competition control on Saturday in Tokyo, with the results of the checks published by the International Testing Agency on Monday.

The ITA said the competitor's samples had returned adverse findings for Dehydrochloromethyl-Testosterone and Metandienone, as well as Tamoxifen, the former being anabolic androgenic steroids and the latter hormone and metabolic modulators.

The 36-year-old, who competed at the previous Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, was scheduled to compete in the men's shot-put fixture on Tuesday, but was informed of the test results and suspended. The Georgian National Olympic Committee confirmed the suspension on the same day, adding the athlete had successfully passed doping control before departing for Tokyo.

Georgia's Olympic team physician Zurab Kakhabrishvili told Abramyan had previously returned adverse findings for his samples and been banned for two years by the Georgian Anti-Doping Agency, and said the squad member could only have used substances on personal discretion in the Olympic Village.

Kakhabrishvili said he maintained a process in which prohibited substances were prevented from being stored at the residence of athletes, adding "with full responsibility" that Abramyan must have taken the three drugs to Tokyo in his personal capacity.

The team physician urged the shot-putter to admit the use of prohibited substances, telling the website he was aware Abramyan had plans for becoming a coach, adding any outcome other than admitting doping to the World Anti-Doping Agency would have adverse effects on his aspirations.

The Athletics Federation of Georgia called the test results "shocking and unacceptable for any sportsperson" and said Abramyan had passed the final substance testing before departing for Tokyo on July 1, with no traces of prohibited drugs identified.

A meeting of the national body later this month, following inquiries into the circumstances of the doping, will adopt "the most severe measures" for the shot-putter and "any possible accomplices", the national body added.