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Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Albanian weightlifter first doper expelled

Posted: 07/29/2012 1:00 AM | Comments: 0

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LONDON -- The International Olympic Committee on Saturday barred Albanian weightlifter Hysen Pulaku in the first official doping ban after the start of the London Games.

The IOC said Pulaku tested positive for a banned steroid, stanozolol, on July 23, and that a backup "B" sample confirmed the result.

The announcement came a day after Albania dropped the 19-year-old from its weightlifting team over doping suspicions. He was supposed to have competed in the 77-kilogram category.

Two Turkish lifters were also dropped by their federation at the last minute after failing doping tests.

Bettors get money back

LONDON -- The perfectly kept surprise about who would light the Olympic cauldron caught out even the savvy British bookmakers.

So much so that a leading oddsmaker is refunding all wagers because it was too tough for gamblers to guess the identity of the seven young athletes who had the honour Friday.

William Hill spokesman Rupert Adams said "the result was all but impossible to predict." Adams said the betting operator is giving back "a five-figure sum" wagered by its clients.

Five-time rowing gold medallist Steve Redgrave was the longtime favourite. His role was carrying the torch into the Olympic Stadium to hand it to the seven young people.

Pregnant shooter out

LONDON -- She's still expecting, even after finishing out of the medals in the opening event of the London Games.

After placing 34th out of 56 shooters in the women's 10-metre air rifle Saturday, Nur Suryani Mohd Taibi pronounced she's ready to have her baby daughter in less than seven weeks back home in Malaysia.

She was relieved not to go into labour. "I just prayed that I could get to a labour room in time," she said.

But slow and steady are a shooter's calling card. The ability to stand still and fire at a bull's-eye the size of a coin 10 metres away puts Mohd Taibi in elite company, so her performance was all the more remarkable considering her baby was kicking her insides during the 75-minute morning qualifying shoot. The child is due Sept. 13, less than two weeks before Taibi's 30th birthday.

-- from the news services

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 29, 2012 B4

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