Bulgaria's captain out on doping suspicion

Aug. 12, 2008, 2 p.m. (ET)

SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) The captain of Bulgaria's Olympic volleyball team, Plamen Konstantinov, has been temporarily removed over a doping allegation, a sporting official said Tuesday.

Bulgaria's Volleyball Federation chief Dancho Lazarov told private Darik radio that Konstantinov's test has showed "illegal substances that were in the upper range of the permissible levels."

He did not name the banned substance.

"Plamen himself wanted to get retested and that is why he left for Bulgaria. If the new results are negative he may return to Beijing," Lazarov said.

Konstantinov missed his second match of preliminary pool play Tuesday. Team doctor Zahariev Dinko said Konstantinev maintained he was clean.

The chairman of Bulgaria's National Anti-Doping Commission said Konstantinov had not failed any doping test.

"His blood showed high levels of testosterone and although they were below the maximum admissible levels, the Volleyball Federation decided to take an extra precaution and remove him from the match," Kamen Plochev told National TV.

"In their panic, the federation made a hasty decision."

IOC spokeswoman Emmanuelle Moreau said she had no information about any case.