Japanese weightlifting champion banned for doping

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 19 January, 2013, 8:51am
UPDATED : Saturday, 19 January, 2013, 9:15am

A Japanese woman weightlifter has been banned for five years for doping, an official said Friday, hours after the broadcast of an interview in which cyclist Lance Armstrong admitted he was a drug cheat.

The Japan Weightlifting Association imposed the ban on Nao Ito after she test positive for the banned substance norandrosterone, the second time that the national champion has failed a drug test.

Ito was stripped of her 58-kilogramme class title in the national championships in November, an association official said.

The weightlifter was slapped with a two-month ban after an earlier doping test revealed she had taken a prescription allergy medication which contained a banned substance, a result that stripped her of the 48-kilogramme national title which she won in 2011.

“We were very disappointed,” the official said, adding that “we must take it seriously as it was a second doping violation.”

Ito’s ban came as Armstrong admitted for the first time that he used performance-enhancing drugs while grabbing seven Tour de France titles, after years of strident denials.

The disgraced cycling legend made the admission in a pre-recorded interview with US talk show host Oprah Winfrey.