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Olympic champion Aramnau gets ban for drinking

Olympic champion Andrei Aramnau of Belarus was handed a two-year suspended ban from competition on Friday after driving while intoxicated for the second time in less than three months.

The 20-year-old, who won gold in Beijing by breaking several world records in the 105kg weight class, was first caught driving drunk in December before he repeated the offence last month, just a day after receiving keys for a new apartment.

Belarus Sports Minister Alexander Grigorov, who headed the disciplinary hearing, told Reuters: “The Olympic success obviously went to his head. He is young and he couldn’t handle it in a right way. We gave him a suspended sentence because we didn’t want to lose him as an athlete.”

Aramnau, who also faces criminal charges for being a repeat offender, was stripped of a presidential monthly stipend worth more than $5,000.

However, Grigorov said Aramnau, who won his first world title in 2007 as a 19-year-old, could be given a second chance.

“If he retains the world title this year, he would get the stipend back,” Grigorov said. (Reuters)