The coach of drug cheat Belarusian shot-putter Nadezhda Ostapchuk has confessed he spiked her food without her knowledge.

Ostapchuk was stripped of her Olympic gold medal last month after testing positive for the banned anabolic agent metenolone before and after competing.

The medal has since been awarded to New Zealand athlete Valerie Adams.

The Belarus anti-doping agency said coach Alexander Yefimov had confessed to putting the drug into Ostapchuk's food because he was worried by her performances in the lead-up to the games, Radio New Zealand reported.


Yefimov has been suspended for four years and Ostapchuk for one.

Ostapchuk was given a lighter sentence because of her coach's actions, the agency's head Alexander Vankhadlo said.

The news comes as the Internal Affairs Minister Chris Tremain attends the world anti-doping agency executive committee in London this week.

New Zealand represents Oceania on the committee. The members include sports ministers from South Africa, Canada, Japan, the European Union, and international Olympic committee representatives from Egypt, Switzerland, Ireland, the United Kingdom and Italy.

Mr Tremain is attending on behalf of Sport and Recreation Minister Murray McCully.