According to a police statement in Kazakhstan, Vladimir Sedov, whose very successful weightlifting career was ruined by doping, killed himself at the age of 35.
He is Kazakhstan’s second top lifter to take his own life in less than two years.
Albert Linder, a multiple Asian champion, committed suicide in September 2021 at the age of 25.
According to a thorough report in Sport-express, Sedov had recently “disappeared” and had been dealing with mental health issues for about six months because he hadn’t been in touch with friends or family.
In the Karatal district, his body was discovered in his hometown hamlet.
He committed suicide, according to his family’ testimonies, the local law enforcement office stated in a statement.
At the age of 20, Sedov placed fourth in the old 85 kilogramme weight division at the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008. He also won the World Championships in Goyang, South Korea, in 2009.
However, he was stripped of his gold medal when he was eliminated from all competitions held between the years 2008 and 2016 as a consequence of a reanalysis of a saved sample from Beijing that tested positive for the illegal steroid stanozolol.
Sedov had already received a two-year penalty as a minor from 2006 to 2008 for his first drug offence.
In 2016 Sedov had said in an interview, “For all these doping scandals, the head coach of the Kazakh national team Alexei Ni should be held accountable.
“It’s his job.”
According to Sedov, Ni is feared by other members of the national squad.
Sedov said that he suffered a nervous breakdown at the National Championships in 2016 due to an argument with the coach.
His final event was the Asian Championships in April 2016, just a few weeks before the news of his reanalysis positive and an eight-year ban was made public. The ban was still in effect at the time of his passing.
When the disqualifications were implemented in 2019, a protracted but unsuccessful appeals procedure came to a conclusion.
Evidently seeking to go into coaching, Sedov was unable to do so while out on suspension.
He had sometimes criticised Ilya Ilyin, the double Olympic champion from Kazakhstan who forfeited both gold medals because of doping.
Ilyin was quoted by Sport-express today saying, “It is very painful to watch when at first a person is a star for society, he is elevated.
“And then at one moment he becomes a nobody, and also becomes guilty of the whole situation in which he was just a part of the system, where he was just doing his job.
“It hurts a lot.”
Ilyin said the Kazakhstan Weightlifting Federation should no longer chase medals at any cost and should provide more support for athletes caught doping.
“These are also our people; we should not forget about them,” he said
According to his brother Semyon, who has been quite critical of the coaches, Linder was reportedly also a victim of unfair treatment and skulduggery within the national squad.
When Linder was depressed, Sedov’s older brother, Sergey, was a member of Kazakhstan’s national coaching team.
In a statement, the Kazakhstan Weightlifting Federation praised Sedov for having “dedicated his life to sport” and sent its sympathies to his loved ones.
The most recent in a long line of Kazakhstan weightlifters to test positive for doping was Artyom Antropov, a former youth world champion, who was temporarily suspended last month for his involvement in a violation at the Asian Championships.
Kazakhstan was limited to competing in weightlifting at the postponed 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo with just one man and one female due to the country’s dismal drug history.