Greek weightlifter Leonidas Sampanis was stripped of his bronze medal Sunday and expelled from the Olympics for a doping offense, another embarrassment for the host nation.

He was the first athlete at the Athens Games to lose his medal because of doping. Russian shot putter Irina Korzhanenko tested positive for steroids after she won the gold medal, but a disciplinary ruling in her case is not expected until Monday.

Sampanis, who was third in the 137-pound (62kg) category after winning silvers at the previous two Olympics, was disqualified by the International Olympic Committee executive board.

His medal was given to Venezuela's Israel Jose Rubio Rivero, who finished fourth.

Sampanis, 32, tested positive for twice the allowed amount of testosterone, the IOC said. Doctors established that the testosterone came from outside the body.

"Honestly, I can say that for the last 10 years, the time that I have been a weightlifter, I never used this kind of drug," he said, crying.

Sampanis was tested on Aug. 16 after winning the medal. He told the IOC on Aug. 7 that he had been injected with an undisclosed drug for an injury, but IOC medical director Patrick Schamasch said that had nothing to do with the positive tests.

So far, nine weightlifters, including Sampanis, have failed drug tests.

Any other sanctions against Sampanis, including a ban from the sport, would be decided by the International Weightlifting Federation.

"We very much believe in Sampanis's innocence and we will try to prove it," said Yiannis Sgouros, head of the Greek Weightlifting Federation.

Minor Detour

The mountain bike course has been slightly changed and shortened because of a wildfire that burned at the venue, though officials said the changes won't affect the difficulty of the race.

Cyclists will ride across about 80 meters of scorched earth. In another area, organizers carved another route through the woods and bushes of Mount Parnitha, a change that shortened the course by about 100 meters.

Sparks from a wire-cutting tool started the fire on Friday as employees worked near a perimeter fence.

Powell to Visit

Secretary of State Colin L.Powell will attend Closing Ceremonies on Sunday, Greece's foreign ministry said.

Powell is scheduled to arrive on Saturday. He'll leave on Aug. 30, the ministry said. While in Greece, he'll meet with Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis.

Powell will be the first member of President Bush's administration to visit the Games.

Appearing Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press," Bush-Cheney campaign chairman Ken Mehlman said the president would not attend the Games.

Weightlifter Leonidas Sampanis tested positive for twice the allowed amount of testosterone.