<
>

Iranian official resigns in wake of doping scandal

TEHRAN, Iran -- An Iranian weightlifting official has
resigned a month after nine of the country's weightlifters and the
national coach were banned after the athletes tested positive for
banned substances, the state-run news agency reported.

Iran's Weightlifting Federation accepted the resignation of the
group's Secretary Abdullah Falahatinejad on Sunday after he offered
to step down the day before, IRNA reported. The news agency did not
explain why Falahatinejad quit.

The resignation comes days after Iran's Physical Education
Organization fired Ali Moradi, the federation's president, IRNA
said.

Eight Iranian weightlifters were suspended last month for two
years and a ninth banned for life after testing positive for banned
substances. The International Weightlifting Federation also imposed
a lifetime ban on Iran's national weightlifting coach, Georgi
Ivanov of Bulgaria.

The World Anti-Doping Agency tested 11 Iranian weightlifters on
Sept. 10 in advance of the world weightlifting championship in the
Dominican Republic. Nine of the 11 tested positive for excessive
levels of testosterone.

Iran's weightlifting federation also was fined $400,000.