The 2021 world and European champion at 81 kilograms Alina Marushchak is likely to be Ukraine's third weightlifting doping violation since the end of Tokyo 2020 ©YouTube

Ukraine has had a third weightlifting doping violation since the end of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and faces expulsion from Paris 2024.

Alina Marushchak, the 2021 world and European champion at 81 kilograms, who was entered for the European Championships in Armenia that ended last weekend but did not compete, is the latest provisional suspension for Ukraine.

She tested positive out of competition on March 10 for the diuretic hydrochlorothiazide and her provisional suspension, notified to the Ukraine Weightlifting Federation earlier this month, has been announced today by the International Testing Agency (ITA), which carries out all anti-doping procedures for the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF).

Marushchak is the third Ukrainian since October to test positive for a banned substance after Ruslan Kozhakin and Bohdan Taranenko, both of whom were positive for trimetazidine, a hormone and metabolic modulator.

All three cases are ongoing and the athletes could prove their innocence, although such a scenario is unheard of once a provisional suspension has been announced.

If they are banned for the standard period of four years, Ukraine will be out of the Olympic Games.

Under the IWF Paris qualifying rules, if three or more anti-doping rule violations are committed by "an athlete or other person connected to a member federation" between July 23 2021 and July 25 2024 an independent panel may withdraw some or all of that nation’s six quota places - three for men and three for women.

Ukrainian Oleksiy Torokhtiy was disqualified for a doping offence after winning 105 kilograms gold at the London 2012 Olympics    ©Getty Images
Ukrainian Oleksiy Torokhtiy was disqualified for a doping offence after winning 105 kilograms gold at the London 2012 Olympics ©Getty Images

In cases where three or more of the underlying violations involve periods of ineligibility of four years or more, all quota places shall be withdrawn.

Ukraine has had multiple doping violations five times since 2012, according to the IWF and ITA databases.

It had a reduced athlete quota at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games because of its past doping record, it had three medallists disqualified from Beijing 2008 and London 2012 after stored samples came up positive when they were retested, and a Ukrainian coach, Matsokha Mykhailo, was banned for life for "tampering and complicity" in 2021.

Mykhailo’s athlete, the triple European champion Dmytro Chumak, is provisionally suspended for an ongoing charge of "tampering and complicity" when he allegedly tried to evade and bribe testers.

When the weightlifting community rallied round Ukraine’s team last year, after the Russian invasion, the men’s team trained in Romania - helped by funding from global and continental governing bodies.

The European Weightlifting Federation contributed about €24,000 (£21,000/$26,580) to Ukraine’s training costs.

The women’s team remained in Ukraine.

At the European Championships Ukraine had two winners, Kamila Konotop - who tops the Paris rankings - at 59kg and Iryna Dekha, who is fifth in the 81kg category, two places above Marushchak.

In other doping violation updates and results announced by the ITA today, the Turkmenistan Olympian Rejepbay Rejepov and Czech super-heavyweight Jiri Orsag were provisionally suspended after testing positive for the steroids methasterone and boldenone respectively.

Nathasha Figueiredo of Brazil, who was allowed to lift in Tokyo after a previous ITA decision, has now been suspended for 16 months on a Court of Arbitration for Sport decision.