Vietnamese weightlifter Trinh Van Vinh, a world title holder, has been banned from competition for four years and slapped with a US$5,000 fine for a doping offense.
The decision was ruled by the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF), according to the Vietnam Bodybuilding and Weightlifting Federation.
The doping penalty effectively put an end to Vinh’s career as a professional weightlifter, as the 24-year-old is not allowed to participate in all tournaments at home and abroad until February 2023.
Vinh won a gold medal at the Asia Weightlifting Championships in 2016 and two silvers and a bronze in the 2017 edition of the event.
He became the world’s champion after lifting a total weight of 136kg in the men’s 62-kg event at the World Weightlifting Championship in 2017.
He also struck gold in the same category at the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games that year.
The IWF decided to punish Vinh for his doping offense after he tested positive for exogenous testosterone, a substance prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency, and another banned anabolic agent.
The doping test was carried out in November 2018 and its result was announced in February this year.
Vinh had previously tested negative for doping at the Asian Games 2018 held in Indonesia from August 18 to September 2, where he won a silver medal in the men’s 61-kilogram event.
The Vietnamese weightlifter admitted that he had taken a pill for his back pain, which resulted from the Asian Games, prior to his urine testing in November without approval from his doctors.
The medicine, however, contained banned agents.
Vinh was one of the medal hopefuls for Vietnam’s weightlifting in the upcoming SEA Games 2019 in the Philippines in November.
His female teammate on Vietnam’s national weightlifting team, Nguyen Thi Phuong Thanh, has also been slapped with a four-year ban and a $5,000 fine by the IWF, as she failed a doping test while preparing for Vietnam’s national championship in November last year.