European weightlifting champion Dmytro Chumak has been provisionally suspended over allegations he tried to bribe his way out of a doping test in the run-up to the Tokyo Olympics, the International Testing Agency said Saturday.
The Ukrainian weightlifter was considered a medal contender for the Tokyo games after he won the European title in the 109-kilogram category in April. That was his third career continental gold medal.
The ITA, which handles drug testing for the International Weightlifting Federation, alleged that Chumak was asked for a drug testing sample on May 6 and “refused to provide a sample, attempted to evade and bribe the Doping Control Officers that were conducting the testing mission.”
Chumak has been suspended until he faces a hearing on charges of using or attempting to use a banned substance, tampering with the anti-doping process and refusing to give a sample. His coach Mykhailo Matsokha is also suspended over the incident.
The Tokyo Olympics open on July 23.
Weightlifting has battled widespread steroid use for decades and has seen dozens of leading athletes suspended for doping offenses at the Olympics and other major events.