Two more powerlifters have been kicked out of the Beijing Paralympics after failing doping tests, bringing the number of athletes expelled from the Games to four, organisers said Thursday, according to AFP.

Powerlifters Facourou Sissoko, from Mali, and Liudmyla Osmanova, from Ukraine, were both slapped with two-year bans for failing pre-competition drug tests, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) said.

Sissoko, 46, tested positive for the banned steroid boldenone metabolite, on September 6, the day of the opening ceremony, the IPC said in a statement. He had been due to compete on Sunday.

Osmanova tested positive for 19-norandrosterone, also a banned steroid, the statement added. The 22-year-old, tested at a training camp on August 29, was due to start her medal bid on Saturday.

The positive doping tests bring the number of powerlifters expelled to three. Pakistani Naveed Ahmed Butt, 37, tested positive for a steroid on September 4, it was announced Tuesday.

On Wednesday, German wheelchair basketball player Ahmet Coskun was kicked out of the Paralympics for taking a banned drug contained in hair loss treatment.

A statement from the German National Paralympic Committee said that although finasteride does not enhance performance, it can be used to cover up drugs that do.

Before the Games started, IPC president Philip Craven said he was hoping for a "totally clean" event but he acknowledged the doping problems associated with powerlifting.

A total of 461 tests had been carried out at the Games, both in and out of competition, by the end of Tuesday.

At the Athens Games in 2004, 680 doping tests were conducted, resulting in 10 violations.

The Beijing Paralympics, involving more than 4,000 athletes, run until September 17.


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