Mike Stulce, the 1992 Olympic shotput champion from Kileen, Tex., faced a possible lifetime ban Tuesday after failing a drug test at last month’s World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany.
Stulce, winner of the gold medal at the Barcelona Olympics and the bronze at Stuttgart, tested positive for the second time in his career.
Both ‘A’ and ‘B’ samples were confirmed positive, said Jayne Pearce, spokeswoman for the International Amateur Athletic Federation, the sport’s governing body.
Pearce said Stulce would be stripped of his medal and suspended for life pending a hearing by USA Track and Field, the national governing body, because it was his second offense.
Aleksandr Bagach of Ukraine, who finished fourth at Stuttgart, will be awarded the bronzemedal.
Stulce, contacted at College Station, Tex., denied the accusations and said he would appeal.
“I sat for a long time trying to figure out what the steroid was that I tested positive for,” Stulce told KRIV-TV of Houston. “We’ve checked with several different experts and they were confused and said there is no reference for it in the United States.
“One expert even said he thought this stuff hasn’t been made for many years in the United States. U.S. Track and Field said they’ll give me an appeal. The actual obscurity of the drug has actually confused them and they are helping me.”
Stulce said he was told he tested positive for the drug mestanolone.
“I don’t feel guilty,” Stulce said. “I know I’m innocent, but the problem is, my family and friends have to suffer. I’m going to fight this the whole way. I’ve got hope right now because I’ve been through this system before.”
Stulce, who had attended Texas A&M; but no longer is at the school, was suspended for two years after testing positive for anabolic steroids in 1990. He was able to compete again shortly before the Olympics and was a surprise winner at Barcelona, where Americans finished first and second for the first time since Mexico City in 1968.
With James Doehring winning the silver and Russian Vyacheslav Lykho the bronze, it was the first time three medals in an Olympic event had gone to athletes who had been suspended for drug use.
At Stuttgart, Stulce finished behind Switzerland’s Werner Gunthor and American Randy Barnes. After the meet, Stulce declined to say how many times he had been subject to random testing this year.
Stulce is the fourth athlete and the second medal winner to have tested positive at the World Championships.
Dimitry Polyunin of Uzbekistan, who finished third in the men’s javelin, lost his medal and received a four-year suspension after failing a drug test.