RIO DE JANEIRO — A weightlifter from Kyrgyzstan became the first athlete at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics to be stripped of a medal after failing a drug test, and a Chinese swimmer and Brazilian cyclist also were disqualified Thursday, and a Moldovan canoeist was suspended and could lose his bronze medal.

Weightlifter Izzat Artykov tested positive for strychnine – banned as a stimulant – after winning the bronze in the men’s 69-kilogram division, the Court of Arbitration’s anti-doping division said.

The 22-year-old lifter’s medal was taken away and he was kicked out of the Games.

Strychnine is a highly toxic drug often used as a pesticide, particularly for killing rodents. But it also has a long history in sports doping, used in small doses to tighten tired muscles. Strychnine was reportedly commonly used in the early years of the Tour de France to help cyclists survive demanding rides.

AMERICAN SOCCER player Megan Rapinoe criticized teammate Hope Solo’s comments after the U.S. lost to Sweden.

Solo called the Swedes “a bunch of cowards” for focusing on defense rather than attacking. Rapinoe told NBC Sports she was “really disappointed” about Solo’s comments.

She said the team should be competitive but also gracious and humble whether losing or winning. Rapinoe said: “We’ve been on the winning side quite a bit and when we find ourselves on the other side, we need to handle that graciously, and unfortunately that wasn’t the case.”

TWO AUSTRALIAN swimmers were disciplined by their country’s Olympic committee for failing to return to the athletes village or tell team officials where they were during a night out in Copacabana.

Emma McKeon and Josh Palmer won’t be allowed to participate in the closing ceremony Sunday and must remain in the athletes village between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. They also can only travel to events in official Olympic transport.

IOC EXECUTIVE Patrick Hickey was discharged from a hospital, where he was taken with chest pains, and went to a police station to be questioned about an Olympics ticket scalping investigation.