Sofia: Bulgaria confirmed to withdraw from next month's European weightlifting championships on Thursday after 11 of its athletes tested positive for steroids, a media report said on Friday.
"Bulgarian athletes will not participate in any international events until the case is cleared," the Bulgarian federation said after consulting with the country's sports ministry, reported Xinhua.
The International Weightlifting Federation announced last week that eight male and three female Bulgarian weightlifters were provisionally suspended after their A samples tested positive for the anabolic steroid stanozolol.
Bulgarian media said the samples were taken at out-of-competition tests two weeks ago.
Among the athletes are three European champions -- 2005 gold medallist Demir Demirev and defending champions Ivan Markov and Ivaylo Filev.
The European championships will be held in Tbilisi, Georgia on April 9-18.
Bulgarian Olympic weightlifting champion Milen Dobrev died at the age of 35 last Sunday.
Dobrev's father had found him in his house in the southern town of Plovdiv. A post mortem is to determine the cause of Dobrev's death.
Dobrev won Olympic gold 2004 in Athens, had a world title from 2003 and two European titles during his career which ended in 2008.