Ukrainian Olympian and two-time European champion Oleksandr Pielieshenko has died on the front line of Russia’s war in Ukraine at age 30, the Ukrainian Weightlifting Federation (UWF) said on Monday.

Pielieshenko ranked fourth at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the men’s 85 kg category and won gold at the sport’s European championships in 2016 and 2017.

He was banned after failing a drug test in 2018.

“It is with great sadness that we inform you that the heart of merited master of sports of Ukraine … Oleksandr Pielieshenko has stopped beating today,” the UWF said in a post on Facebook.

“We express our sincere condolences to the family and everyone who knew Oleksandr.”

The National Olympic Committee of Ukraine also paid tribute to the weightlifter, saying he had joined the armed forces in the early days of the invasion.

“War takes the best of us … heroes do not die,” said weightlifting coach and UWF board member Viktor Slobodianiuk.

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Posted 4h ago4 hours agoMon 6 May 2024 at 9:03pm