Botev was originally intended to represent Bulgaria at the 1988 Olympic Games in the heavyweight category. Two of his teammates who had won gold medals in their weight classes tested positive for banned substances, and the Buglarian weightlifting federation pulled the rest of the team out of the competition the day before Botev was scheduled to compete. Mitko Grablev (56 kg) & Angel Guenchev (67.5 kg) were both disqualified after they tested positive for Furosemide. At the time, Botev was two-time European Vice-champion, and a heavy favorite for the gold medal.
In 2007 he was elected member of the International Weightlifting Federation Hall of Fame.
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Bronze medalist in Olympic Games (1992 and 1996);
Gold medalist in Senior World Championships (1989 and 1990);
Silver medalist in Senior World Championships (1993);
Bronze medalist in Senior World Championships (1994 and 1995);
Senior European champion (1989 and 1990);
Silver medalist in Senior European Championships (1987 and 1988);
Gold medalist in Commonwealth Games (1994);
Set seven world records during his career;
Junior world record holder in clean and jerk and total (1972–1992).
Snatch: 200.0 kg 1990 in Budapest in the class to 110 kg.
Clean and jerk: 250.0 kg 1988 in Varna in the class to 110 kg.
Total: 445.0 (195.0+250.0) in the class to 110 kg.
Total: 450.0 kg (200.0+250.0) 1996 Summer Olympics in the class over 108 kg.