Chakhoyan banned for life after second positive test

SYDNEY, Australia -- World champion weightlifter Sergo Chakhoyan has been banned from the sport for life after a second positive test for a prohibited substance, the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority said Thursday.

Chakhoyan, 37, an Armenian-born Australian, tested positive for the stimulant Benzylpiperazine or BZP while competing at the 2005 Commonwealth, Oceania and South Pacific Weightlifting Championships in Melbourne, ASADA chairman Richard Ings said.

Chakhoyan was previously banned for two years in 2001 after testing positive for the anabolic steroid stanozolol during the Goodwill Games in Brisbane. Under the world anti-doping code, a second offense brings an automatic life ban.

Ings said ASADA had launched an investigation into Australian weightlifting after a series of positive tests, including Chakhoyan's. The 2003 world champion joins Coran Hocking, Jenna Myers and Camilla Fogagnolo as Australian weightlifters banned for the use of BZP, Ings said.

Chakhoyan won gold medals at the 1994 and 2003 world championships and competed in the light heavyweight class at the 1996, 2000 and 2004 Olympics.