Bulgaria out of Euro weightlifting event after 11 drug cases

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Bulgaria pulled its team out of next month’s European weightlifting championships after 11 of its athletes tested positive for steroids.

“Bulgarian athletes will not participate in any international events” until the case is cleared, the Bulgarian federation said in agreement with the country’s sports ministry on Thursday.

The Budapest-based International Weightlifting Federation announced last week that eight male and three female Bulgarians were provisionally suspended after their A samples tested positive for the anabolic steroid stanozolol.

Among the athletes are three European champions — 2005 gold medalist Demir Demirev and defending champions Ivan Markov and Ivaylo Filev.

The European championships will take place April 9-18 in Tbilisi, Georgia.