World champion weightlifter Aleksei Lovchev has been provisionally suspended after failing a drug test, the International Weightlifting Federation said Thursday.
The Russian tested positive for a banned substance after last month's world championships in Houston, where he broke the clean-and-jerk and total world records on his way to the overall title in the 105 kilogram-plus category.
Russia's sports minister Vitaly Mutko claimed the banned substance, the growth hormone ipamorelin, was in a medicine he had been cleared to use.
The IWF said Lovchev's compatriots Aleksei Kosov, Olga Zubova and Olga Afanaseva also failed tests.
Three other medalists — North Korea's Kim Kwang-song and Kazakhstan's Almas Uteshov and Zhassulan Kyrdyrbayev — were among 24 adverse findings from the competition, the IWF reported.