Nao Ito, Japan Weightlifting Champion Banned for Doping

A Japanese woman weightlifter, Nao Ito, has been banned for five years for doping, an official said Friday, hours after the broadcast of an interview in which cyclist Lance Armstrong admitted he was a drug cheat.

The Japan Weightlifting Association imposed the ban on Nao Ito after she test positive for the banned substance norandrosterone, the second time that the national champion has failed a drug test.

Ito was stripped of her 58-kilogramme class title in the national championships in November, an association official said.

The weightlifter was slapped with a two-month ban after an earlier doping test revealed she had taken a prescription allergy medication which contained a banned substance, a result that stripped her of the 48-kilogramme national title which she won in 2011.

“We were very disappointed,” the official said, adding that “we must take it seriously as it was a second doping violation.”

Ito’s ban came as Armstrong admitted for the first time that he used performance-enhancing drugs while grabbing seven Tour de France titles, after years of strident denials.

The disgraced cycling legend made the admission in a pre-recorded interview with US talk show host Oprah Winfrey.

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