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Olympic champion Mutlu is banned

story.mutlu.jpg
Mutlu won gold medals in Atlanta, Sydney and Athens

ISTANBUL, Turkey (Reuters) -- Turkey's triple Olympic champion Halil Mutlu has been given a two-year ban by the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) for using anabolic steroids, Turkish sports officials said.

Mutlu tested positive during the European weightlifting championships in April but has denied knowingly using nandrolone, an anabolic steroid that boosts muscle growth.

The ban will end on April 20, 2007.

"I am not surprised by the decision...I will continue with my training and I will win my fourth gold medal at the 2008 Olympics," Mutlu told local media.

Mutlu won the 56-kg gold medal at last year's Athens Olympics. He also won titles in Sydney in 2000 and the 1996 Atlanta Games.

The IWF last month suspended the Turkish Weightlifting Federation from all international competition until May 31, 2006 and fined it $100,000 for doping violations during out-of-competition testing.

Some athletes had not turned up for testing or others had turned up in their place, the IWF said.

The IWF also banned Turkey's Olympic under 56-kg bronze medallist Sedat Artuc until September 6, 2007.

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