Indonesia weightlifter wins Beijing Olympics bronze as Belarusian rival fails drug test

Belarusian lifter Nastassia Novikava - who took bronze at the 2008 games ahead of fourth-placed Rumbewas - was among those who failed the doping test, Indonesian Olympic officials said.

Published: 06th December 2017 05:54 PM  |   Last Updated: 06th December 2017 05:54 PM   |  A+A-

Raema Lisa Rumbewas of Indonesia (Twitter/IG: bulutangkisRI‏ )

By AFP

JAKARTA: Indonesia's most-decorated female weightlifter has been awarded a bronze medal almost a decade after the Beijing Olympics as her closest rival at those games failed a doping test, officials said Wednesday.

Raema Lisa Rumbewas, who hails from Papua province, received the award Sunday in the wake of the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) re-examining doping test samples for several athletes who competed in Beijing's 2008 games and the 2012 Olympics in London.

Belarusian lifter Nastassia Novikava -- who took bronze at the 2008 games ahead of fourth-placed Rumbewas -- was among those who failed the doping test, Indonesian Olympic officials said.

She was disqualified and the bronze medal was given to the now 37-year-old Indonesian, who previously won two silver medals at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and 2004 Olympics in Athens. 

Rumbewas, who is epileptic, has been retired since 2010 and is now a weightlifting coach in her hometown Jayapura, Papua's regional capital. 

"Lisa fainted during the award ceremony because she was overwhelmed with emotion and joy at receiving the medal, especially because the Beijing Olympics was her last one," Dirja Wihardja, head coach of the Indonesian national weightlifting team, told AFP Wednesday.

The Beijing medal puts Rumbewas even with Indonesian male weightlifter Eko Yuli Irawan, who also has three Olympic medals. 

Weightlifting's governing body announced in September that China and Russia, along with seven other countries, would be slapped with a year-long ban.

The decision was taken after re-analysed drugs tests from the 2008 and 2012 Olympics returned at least three positive results for each country.

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