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Double European weightlifting champion Pielieshenko killed in Ukraine war

The Ukrainian Olympic Committee says two-time European weightlifting champion Oleksandr Pielieshenko has died on the front line in the war in Ukraine. (Mike Groll / The Associated Press) The Ukrainian Olympic Committee says two-time European weightlifting champion Oleksandr Pielieshenko has died on the front line in the war in Ukraine. (Mike Groll / The Associated Press)
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Two-time European weightlifting champion Oleksandr Pielieshenko died on the front line in the war in Ukraine, the Ukrainian Olympic Committee said on Monday.

Pielieshenko "died in the war with the enemy" on Sunday, the committee posted on Telegram. He was 30.

He joined Ukraine's armed forces in the first days of Russia's invasion, the committee added.

Pielieshenko came back from a doping suspension in 2013-15 to win the 2016 European under-85 kilogram division by one kilogram. He successfully retained the title in 2017 in Split.

Pielieshenko missed out on an Olympic medal by five kilograms at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games, where he placed fourth. He committed a second doping violation in 2018.

"It is with great sadness that we announce that today the heart of the honored master of sports of Ukraine, two-time European weightlifting champion Oleksandr Pielieshenko, stopped beating," the Ukrainian weightlifting federation said on Facebook.

National coach Viktor Slobodianiuk added on Facebook, "War takes the best of us.. This is a very heavy loss for the entire weightlifting community of Ukraine. Heroes do not die."

More than 400 Ukrainian athletes and officials have been killed in the war.

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