Weightlifter becomes first athlete at Rio Olympics to be stripped of a medal for failing a drug test

The first Olympic medalist of the 2016 Rio Games has been stripped of their prize as Kyrgystan weightlifter Izzat Artykov was penalised following his positive test for strychnine, according to the Associated Press.

The Court of Arbitration’s anti-doping division announced on Thursday that Artykov tested positive after winning the bronze medal in the 69-kilogram division.

Strychnine is a defined as a stimulant in the World Anti-Doping Agency’s list of banned substances.

Strychnine is a toxic drug most often associated for its use as a pesticide and for killing rodents. However, according to the AP, it also has a long history in sports doping. The drug can be used in small doses to “tighten tired muscles,” and used to be common among Tour de France riders.

This comes as particularly unfortunate, as Artykov’s medal was the only one Kyrgystan has earned at these Olympics.

Luis Javier Mosquera of Colombia will presumably be awarded the bronze medal after finishing in fourth place.

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