All of Russia's weightlifters were banned from the Rio Olympics on Friday for doping after what the international federation called "extremely shocking" test results that brought the sport into disrepute. The eight competition spots have been offered to other countries. The International Weightlifting Federation says the "integrity of the weightlifting sport has been seriously damaged on multiple times and levels by the Russians" and the punishment was an "appropriate sanction" to "preserve the status of the sport," the AP reports. The IWF described the doping results as "extremely shocking and disappointing."
Weightlifting became the second sport after track and field to issue blanket bans on Russian athletes. Other sports—including rowing, wrestling, modern pentathlon, and sailing—have banned one or more Russians from competing in Rio de Janeiro, but not all of the country's eligible athletes. To replace the eight Russian lifters in Rio, five countries were offered places in the men's competition—Belarus, Croatia, El Salvador, Mongolia, and Serbia. In justifying its actions against Russia, the IWF said retests of samples from seven Russian weightlifters who took part in the 2008 Beijing Olympics or 2012 London Olympics resulted in positive tests, and more are expected. (A Russian whistleblower says during the Sochi Olympics, urine samples were swapped through a "mouse hole.")