China is facing a one-year ban from weightlifting over repeated doping cases in a move which threatens to stop some of the world's top athletes from competing internationally.
The International Weightlifting Federation confirmed today that three failed retests of drug test samples from the 2008 Beijing Olympics will lead to China's automatic ban if the cases are proven and the athletes in question disqualified by the International Olympic Committee.
China is the world's dominant country in weightlifting, having topped the medal table at every Olympics since 2000.
It won seven medals in Rio de Janeiro this month, five of them gold. The IWF said that Ukraine and Azerbaijan have joined Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, which were already facing one-year bans under earlier announcements.