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LONDON — Just hours after the close of the Olympics, a female shot putter from Belarus was stripped of her gold Monday in the first case of an athlete losing a medal for doping at the London Games.
With the disqualification of Nadzeya Ostapchuk, the gold medal was awarded to Valerie Adams of New Zealand — who winds up as Olympic champion for the second time in a row.
The International Olympic Committee said Ostapchuk, a former world champion, tested positive for steroids both before and after winning the shot put last week for her first Olympic gold.
After an IOC hearing, she was formally expelled from the games and had her victory and medal removed from the records. She was the eighth athlete, and first medalist, caught during the IOC’s London drug-testing program.
“Catching cheats like this sends a message to all those who dope that we will catch them,” IOC spokesman Mark Adams said.
Track and field’s governing body, the IAAF, will consider further action against Ostapchuk, who could face a two-year ban from the sport.
Adams was bumped up from Olympic silver to gold, with Evgeniia Kolodko of Russia upgraded to silver and fourth-place finisher Gong Lijiao of China moved up to bronze.
Adams now has a second gold to go with her victory in Beijing four years ago.
“I am speechless with this news,” she told New Zealand’s national broadcaster TVNZ. “It is taking me some time to take this in. It is huge and I am absolutely thrilled of course. It makes me extraordinarily proud as a New Zealander.
“It is also encouraging for those athletes, like myself who are proud to compete cleanly, that the system works and doping cheats are caught.”