The Bulgarian Weightlifting Federation (BWF) has seen an appeal against an Olympic ban for widespread doping rejected by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) imposed the ban and a fine of $500,000 after 11 Bulgarian athletes were found to have previously flouted anti-doping rule violations.
An appeal against the decision was lodged to CAS by the BWF in December in a bid to appear at the Rio Olympic Games, which start in August.
CAS subsequently upheld the BWF's challenge against the hefty fine, but ruled that the IWF's Olympic ban will stand.
A CAS statement read: "With respect to the fine, the Sole Arbitrator found that the IWF president had no jurisdiction to take such a decision alone. In accordance with the IWF Rules, it is for the Executive Board to rule on the issue of the fine.
"Notwithstanding the above, the decision of the IWF president with respect to the ban on entering the next Olympic Games is confirmed as the Sole Arbitrator found that the regulations do not specifically determine that the Executive Board of the IWF should take such decision, and also because the precondition for the imposition of such a ban was complied with (9 or more athletes were found to have committed an anti-doping rule violation within one sporting season)."