Olympian's gold medal stripped in shock development amid swimming drama

While the world was watching the ugly scenes at the swimming world championships on Tuesday night, an even more disturbing development was taking place in Uzbekistan.

Around the same time as Sun Yang was shocking the sporting world with his ‘disgusting’ actions in South Korea, the ongoing fight against doping took a depressing twist.

And it tells you everything you need to know about why Sun’s fellow swimmers are fuming that he’s allowed to compete in South Korea.

On Tuesday night, the International Olympic Committee announced that Uzbek freestyle wrestler Artur Taymazov had been stripped of his London 2012 Olympic gold medal after re-analysis of stored samples.

However the disturbing development went largely unnoticed as the world was captivated by Sun Yang’s latest dramas.

Taymazov, whose 2008 gold was taken away in 2017 after a re-testing of samples from the Beijing Games, is the 60th athlete to be disqualified from the London Olympics after the event.

Artur Taymazov kisses his gold medal at the 2012 Olympics. (Image: YURI CORTEZ/AFP/GettyImages)

Only nine athletes were caught by anti-doping tests during those Games.

The IOC said Taymazov, who won men’s freestyle 120kg gold at three successive Games, had been disqualified from the results after a positive test for the prohibited substance Dehydrochlormethyltestosterone (oral turinabol).

The Russian-born Uzbek was ordered to return the London medal. He also won gold at Athens in 2004 and a 130kg silver in Sydney in 2000.

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His London gold had made him the most successful freestyle competitor in Olympic history.

The 120kg silver medallist from London 2012, Georgian Davit Modzmanashvili, was stripped of that medal in January this year after a re-analysis also tested positive for oral turinabol.

Reanalysis of samples from 2012 will continue this year before the statute of limitations is reached by 2020.

Artur Taymazov in action at the 2012 Olympics. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

Cloud hanging over Sun grows darker

The depressing news highlights the anger around Sun’s participation at the swimming world championships.

Many of his competitors are furious that FINA has allowed Sun to compete in South Korea, with a hearing at the Court of Arbitration for Sport looming that may well end his career.

Swimmers are riled that Sun is still competing despite being accused of destroying vials of his blood with a hammer during a clash with testers last year.

Sun - who served a 2014 doping ban - faces a lifetime suspension if found guilty of the charges in his September CAS hearing.

It would also be a horrible look if FINA were forced to strip Sun of the two gold medals he’s won in South Korea - much like what has happened with Taymazov.

Martin Malyutin, Sun Yang and Katsuhiro Matsumoto pose with their medals as Duncan Scott walks away. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Briton Duncan Scott followed Mack Horton’s lead in refusing to stand on the podium and shake hands with Sun after he won a controversial gold in the 200m freestyle on Tuesday.

And Scott's actions were widely endorsed, with world breaststroke champion Adam Peaty backing him.

Peaty said he had a problem with Sun, who was booed when he sat on his lane rope and celebrated his surprise 200m win while a shattered Rapsys left the pool.

"If people are booing him it's for a reason," Peaty said of Sun.

"He (Sun) should be asking himself now 'should I really be in this sport when people are booing me?'

Duncan Scott (far right) didn't take the podium with Sun Yang. Image: Getty

"And if I was swimming (against Sun) I wouldn't even get on the podium for that matter."

South African Chad le Clos, runner-up to Sun in the 200m free at the Olympics, said: "It's good that people are taking a stand -- I want my gold medal back from Rio and (fourth-placed) James Guy should get his bronze, because it shouldn't be allowed to have people cheating in sport."

American Lilly King, who let rip at Sun and FINA doping controls earlier this week, beat Russian rival Yulia Efimova -- another former convicted doper -- to retain her women's 100m breaststroke crown in 1:04.93.

"Personally I'm thrilled to see other athletes standing up for what they believe in," said King on Duncan's protest.

with agencies