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English champion Denis Catana given two-year doping ban

UK Anti-Doping said it would 'work tirelessly' for clean athletes

English champion weightlifter Denis Catana has had a two-year suspension for anabolic steroid abuse confirmed by UK Anti-Doping.

The 25-year-old, of Moldovan origin, won the 2010 national 94kg title but tested positive for Metenolone ahead of the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi.

He had been provisionally banned since 21 September 2010, a suspension that will last until 20 September 2012.

But British Olympic Association rules now ban him from Team GB for life.

The BOA stipulates that athletes who fail drugs tests must receive lifetime bans from competing for Britain at the Olympic Games - a regulation UK Anti-Doping itself criticised in December.

However, Northampton-based Catana could barely be considered a prospect for London 2012.

Scotland's Peter Kirkbride had consistently outperformed his English rival - Kirkbride, the British champion, went on to claim a Commonwealth silver medal in Catana's absence in Delhi in October.

Kirkbride has long been listed as a member of the British weightlifting squad, unlike Catana, who first came to the UK in 2007.

The details of Catana's tribunal indicate that he had been using a gel meant for horses to treat a leg injury, and had ascertained the legality of the supplements he bought (for anti-doping purposes) by asking shop assistants, rather than seeking the advice of team doctors.

Catana claimed that Metenolone, an anabolic steroid associated with the treatment of some forms of anaemia and osteoporosis, had found its way into his body inadvertently through a supplement he had consumed, several of which were bought in Moldova.

UK Anti-Doping's director of operations, Nicole Sapstead, said: "Mr Catana was tested as part of UK Anti-Doping's pre-Commonwealth Games testing programme.

"This case shows the importance of our major event programme, and our commitment to stopping athletes who dope competing on the world stage.

"We will continue to work tirelessly to protect the rights of clean athletes in the run up to London 2012 and beyond."

The UK Anti-Doping organisation was formed in 2009, after several delays, to combat doping in British elite sport.

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