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Nadzeya Ostapchuk (Belarusian: Надзея Астапчук, Nadzeya AstapchukRussian: Надежда Остапчук, Nadezhda Ostapchuk; born October 28, 1980) is a Belarusian shot putter. She briefly became the Olympic Champion in 2012, but was subsequently stripped of the title for failing a drug test and the gold medal was awarded to New Zealand shot putter Valerie Adams.She was World Champion in 2005, but in March 2013, the IAAF reported that her drug test sample from that event had been retested and found to be positive.

Ostapchuk was bronze medallist at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and was the World Indoor and European Champion in 2010. Her overall personal best of 21.70 m makes her the third best athlete ever indoors. She is a four-time runner-up at the World Indoor Championships and a three-time World Championships silver medallist outdoors. She holds the Championship record for the former event, with her winning throw of 20.85 m in 2010. In continental competition, she was the 2005 European Indoor champion and came second at the 2006 European Athletics Championships. In addition to her medal in Beijing, she was fourth at the 2004 Athens Olympics.

Career[edit]Edit

Born in Stolin, she was initially interested in basketball but the lack of a local team left her unable to pursue the sport further. Ostapchuk instead entered throwing events and her first international title came at the age of seventeen, as she won the shot put at the 1998 World Junior Championships in Athletics. She was dominant at the younger levels and won at the 1999 European Athletics Junior Championships and then the 2001 European Athletics U23 Championships.

She rose to top international level in the early 2000s, winning two consecutive silver medals at the IAAF World Indoor Championships and also finished as runner-up at the 2003 World Championships in Athletics. She finished fourth at her first Summer Olympics in 2004, but reached the peak of her discipline the following year, winning at the 2005 European Athletics Indoor Championships and then becoming 2005 World Champion. Her career became overshadowed by Valerie Adams, who succeeded her as World Champion in 2007, although she continued to win major medals, including silvers at the World Indoor and Outdoor Championships and a bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Her personal best is 21.70 m thrown at the Belarusian championships in 2010, making her the third best indoor thrower on the all-time lists. She scored her first world indoor title at the 2010 IAAF World Indoor Championships, throwing a championship record of 20.85 m. She won further honours at the 2010 European Cup Winter Throwing meeting, easily winning gold ahead of compatriot Natallia Mikhnevich. She defeated the reigning champion, Natallia Mikhnevich, at the 2010 European Athletics Championships to claim her first outdoor European Championship. She won all six of the IAAF Diamond League meetings that she competed in that year, becoming the inaugural women's shot put trophy winner, and suffered just one defeat in the entirety of 2010 – a runner-up placing behind Valerie Adams at the 2010 IAAF Continental Cup.

She decided to miss the indoor section of 2011 and instead struck a balance between training and resting her left knee. She had endured ongoing pain in the joint but remarked "I didn’t want to do something radical and have surgery as there is no guarantee of a speedy recovery". Her first competition of 2012 came at the Belarusian indoor championships and she demonstrated her form with a world-leading mark of 20.70 m. She had a best throw of 20.42 m at the 2012 IAAF World Indoor Championships and this brought her the silver medal behind Adams.

Turning to the outdoor season, she won at the 2012 European Cup Winter Throwing and reached 20.53 m to win the first leg of the 2012 Diamond League in Doha. She managed only third at the Golden Gala at the end of May, but threw a Belarusian outdoor record of 21.13 m in Minsk two weeks later. She threw further in July, having marks of 21.32 m, then 21.39 m in Grodno. Immediately prior to the Olympics, she had a world-leading throw of 21.58 m.

Ostapchuk won gold at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, but was later disqualified for testing positive for a banned substance. She was tested twice, once on 5 August and again the following day after she had finished first. The IOC said both samples indicated the presence of the anabolic agent metenolone. New Zealand's Valerie Adams was subsequently awarded the gold. Russia's Yevgeniya Kolodko was moved up to win the silver medal, and China's Gong Lijiao moved to take the bronze medal.

The day following the event Ostapchuk was awarded the Third-class Order of the Fatherland in recognition of her “high professionalism, outstanding sports achievements and victory at the 30th Summer Olympic Games” by the President of BelarusAlyaksandr Lukashenka.

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