31 Dec 2009

Bulgaria's weightlifting federation loses licence

6:48 am on 31 December 2009

Bulgaria's weightlifting federation has been stripped of its licence for financial mismanagement and a major doping scandal that saw the country's best athletes banned.

The country's sports ministry says its refused to renew the federation's licence because it had breached the anti-doping regulations and sports ethics ahead of the Beijing Olympic Games and marred Bulgaria's sports prestige.

The federation has also been accused of mismanaging funds.

Ahead of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, all eight men and three women on Bulgaria's preliminary weightlifting squad had tested positive for the anabolic steroid metandienon.

Earlier in the week 23 weightlifting clubs from around the country formed an alternative Bulgarian national weightlifting federation, adding they would apply for a licence from the sports ministry and the International Weightlifting Federation.