Taymazov stripped of 2012 Olympic gold; USA star Dlagnev will become Olympic bronze medalist

By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling | July 23, 2019, 2:13 p.m. (ET)
Artur Taymazov (Uzbekistan) and Tervel Dlagnev (USA) battle at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England. Taymazov is being stripped of his Olympic gold medal for doping violation. Photo by John Sachs, Tech-Fall.com

Today, the International Olympic Committee announced that 2012 Olympic gold medalist Artur Taymazov of Uzbekistan tested positive for the prohibited substance Dehydrochlormethyltestosterone (oral turinabol) in a re-analysis of Taymazov's samples from the 2012 London Olympic Games.

With this sanction, Taymazov is disqualified from the London Games results at 120 kg in men's freestyle, and must turn in his gold medal.

With Taymazov's result vacated, it means that U.S. wrestler Tervel Dlagnev (Columbus, Ohio/Sunkist Kids), who placed fifth at the 2012 London Olympic Games, is expected to be awarded an Olympic bronze medal at this weight class. United World Wrestling has been assigned by the IOC to adjust the medal standings with Taymazov's disqualification.

Dlagnev competed on Taymazov's side of the bracket in London, and lost to Taymazov by a pin in 1:50 in the Olympic Games semifinals. Dlagnev was beaten in the bronze medal bout by Komeil Ghasemi of Iran in his next match, to finish fifth.

In the past, when an athlete has been stripped of a medal, the athletes from their side of the bracket have moved up into the medal positions. Dlagnev will then move from fifth to the bronze-medal position from his side of the bracket.

Dlagnev was a two-time NCAA Div. II national champion for Nebraska-Kearney. During most of his international career, he trained at the Ohio Regional Training Center. He is currently an assistant coach for The Ohio State University.

Both of the original finalists in the 120 kg weight class in London at this weight class have been stripped of their medals. On January 17, 2019, the IOC also stripped the Olympic silver medal from the London Games from Davit Modzmanashvili of Georgia, who lost to Taymazov in the Olympic finals.

This is the second Olympic gold medal that Taymazov has lost due to re-testing of his test samples. On April 5, 2017, the IOC stripped Taymazov of his Olympic gold medal at 120 kg for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.


As part of this process, the IOC today announced that one athlete has been disqualified from the Olympic Games London 2012. The details follow.

Artur Taymazov, 40, of Uzbekistan, competing in the men’s freestyle 120kg wrestling event (qualifications and finals), in which he ranked 1st and was awarded the gold medal, has been disqualified from the Olympic Games London 2012. Re-analysis of Taymazov’s samples from London 2012 resulted in a positive test for the prohibited substance Dehydrochlormethyltestosterone (oral turinabol).

The IOC Disciplinary Commission, composed for this case of Mr Denis Oswald (Chairman), Mrs Gunilla Lindberg and Mr Juan Antonio Samaranch, decided the following:

I. The Athlete, Artur Taymazov:

i) is found to have committed an anti-doping rule violation pursuant to the IOC Anti-Doping Rules applicable to the Games of the XXX Olympiad in London in 2012 (presence of Prohibited Substances or their Metabolites or Markers in the Athlete’s bodily specimen),

ii) is disqualified from the events in which he participated upon the occasion of the 2012 Olympic Games, namely, the men’s freestyle 120kg wrestling event, and

iii) has the medal, diploma, and pin obtained in the men’s freestyle 120kg wrestling event withdrawn and is ordered to return them.

II. UWW is requested to modify the results of the above-mentioned event accordingly and to consider any further action within its own competence.

III. The National Olympic Committee of Uzbekistan shall ensure full implementation of this decision.

IV. The decision enters into force immediately.