Alexei Petrov was the last Russian weightlifter to be banned for life for taking anabolic steroids to pump his pectorals. Alexei Petrov was the second last Russian weightlifter to win a gold medal at the Atlanta Olympics. Alexei Petrov is US$100,000 richer for triumphing at the Games. Alexei Petrov is a determined man who went to extraordinary lengths to clear his name. Alexei Petrov has a story that his competitors call 'incredible' but which was accepted by a court and the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF). Alexei Petrov is a very fortunate man to have his tall tale believed by a judge and the wise men of the IWF. Alexei Petrov has the sort of disarming smile that would make you believe black is white if he proclaimed it so. Alexei Petrov sat at a press conference and claimed his girlfriend put six anabolic steroid pills into his food a week before November's World Championships in Guangzhou. Alexei Petrov grimaced as he recalled receiving notification that he had tested positive and that, at 21, his career was over. Alexei Petrov eloquently recalled how he went over the pre-championship happenings in his mind and concluded that his girlfriend had 'done something wicked'. Alexei Petrov recounted how he took a law suit out against his lover and claimed 10 million roubles (it sounds a lot but is not really that much) for 'moral damages' to his still fledgling career. Alexei Petrov said that the court ruled in his favour and awarded him five million roubles. Alexei Petrov switched on that winning smile and said his girlfriend felt sorry for him and admitted that she had slipped the pills into his food. Alexei Petrov recalled how she wrote a letter of confession which he hand delivered to the IWF. Alexei Petrov, with that smile firmly in place, said that they accepted the evidence and rescinded the life ban. Alexei Petrov let out a small guffaw and said he realised the story was unbelievable but it was true. Alexei Petrov conceded that he was a lucky man to have an Olympic weightlifting gold round his neck and a US$100,000 reward from the Russian Federation in his bank account. Alexei Petrov knows that a sceptical public does not believe a word of his story. Alexei Petrov does not care. Alexei Petrov has split with his girlfriend. Alexei Petrov does not care. Alexei Petrov has the handsome good looks and the type of sculpted body that make women go weak at the knees. Alexei Petrov will soon have a new girlfriend. But even Alexei Petrov knows he won't get away with the same excuse twice.