European weightlifting champion Pielieshenko fails drug test

BUDAPEST, Hungary — Double European weightlifting champion Oleksandr Pielieshenko of Ukraine is facing the second doping ban of his career.

The International Weightlifting Federation said in a statement Monday that Pielieshenko had tested positive for chlorthalidone, a diuretic which can be used to mask the presence of other banned substances.

He won European gold in the 85-kilogram category in 2016 and 2017 but could not defend his title at last week's championships in Romania because Ukraine was barred due to widespread drug use in previous years. He finished fourth at the 2016 Olympics.

Pielieshenko also served a two-year doping ban from 2013-15 after testing positive for the steroid stanozolol.

The IWF added that the former European women's 75kg bronze medalist Sona Poghosyan of Armenia had tested positive for GHRP-2, which stimulates the body into producing more growth hormone.

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