LONDON Belarusian hammer thrower Ivan Tsikhan will not compete in the London Olympics following a request from the ruling body of world athletics, the country's sports ministry said on Friday.
Tsikhan won the bronze in Beijing four years ago but was stripped of the medal by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) after tests showed his testosterone levels were above acceptable limits.
"Tsikhan will not compete at London," ministry spokesman Vladimir Nesterovich was quoted as saying by local media. "Belarus athletics federation received a letter from the world athletics ruling body IAAF with a demand to sideline Tsikhan.
"The IAAF letter said that new methods of testing discovered the presence of banned medications in the samples, which Tsikhan gave at the Athens Games (in 2004) and 2005 world championships.
"We decided to withdraw Tsikhan from the competitions to avoid any possibility of sanctions against the entire Belarus athletics squad at the Olympics."
Tsikhan and his team mate Vadim Devyatovskiy, who won silver in Beijing and also had his medal taken away, successfully appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in 2010 against their sanctions.
The Belarus athletics federation, IAAF and the athlete could not be reached for comment.
(Reporting by Ed Osmond, editing by Mark Meadows)