Aleh Yurenia marked Belarus' return to the international men's fold with a dominant victory at the Canoe Sprint World Cup in Belgrade.
Yurenia was among Belorussian paddlers barred from competing at last year's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro after the country's men were handed a one year suspension by the International Canoe Federation (ICF) in July, due to doping allegations surrounding the use of the drug meldonium.
This was overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in January and the National Olympic Committee of the Republic of Belarus are now vowing to sue the world governing body to receive compensation.
Yurenia ensured a fine return to the sport with a superb K1 1,000 metres victory on the Ada Ciganlija Regatta Course in the Serbian capital.
He crossed in 3min 24.772sec to finish comfortably clear of Denmark's three-time world champion René Poulsen, who clocked 3:26.328.
Roi Rodriguez of Spain finished third in 3:26.852.
"My start and my finish were no good, but the middle of my race was good," Yurenia said.
"I was so angry and had a broken heart not to compete in Rio.
"But now I have an eight-month baby girl, my life is good, and I am going to do my best to fulfil my Olympic dream in Tokyo for my little girl."
Volha Khudzenka also took gold for Belarus in the women's K1 500m before Alena Nazdrova outlasted Hungary’s Virag Balla in the C1 500m.
Khudzenka clocked 1:49.064 to beat home hope Spela Janic, in 1:49.392 and Belgium's Hermien Peters, in 1:50.308.
Nazdrova finished 0.968 clear of Balla in 2:05.464 as Katie Vincent of Canada managed 2:08.044 for bronze.
Czech Republic’s Martin Fuksa picked up a fourth gold medal of the World Cup season, once again finishing in front of triple Oympic gold medallist Sebastian Brendel of Germany in the C1 1,000m.
"It's absolutely amazing for me because I have never won four gold medals in a season," Fuksa said.
"I started training in January, so maybe the long rest after the Olympics was good for me."
He won by 1.212 seconds as Tomasz Kaczor of Poland placed third.
Maxime Beaumont beat arch-rival Liam Heath to win the K1 200 metres race at the International Canoe Federation (ICF) Canoe Sprint World Cup in Belgrade.
The Frenchman finished second behind the Briton at last year's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
He also missed out behind him at the last leg of the World Cup in Szeged in Hungary.
There was nothing between the two today on the Ada Ciganlija Regatta Course in the Serbian capital.
But Beaumont hung on to win by just one hundredth of a second in 35.422sec.
"It was very important for me, I would like to get at least one win over Liam before the European or World Championships," he said.
"It will be a very good fight the next time we compete.
"I am a little tired because I have had a lot of competition without going home, but I tried to do the maximum with the energy I have."
Carlos Garrotte of Spain took third place in 35.610.
Linnea Stensils of Sweden won the corresponding women's event in 41.020.
Slovenia's Spela Janic finished five hundredths behind in second place as Marta Walczykiewicz of Poland took the bronze medal in 41.207.
Czech Republic's Martin Fuksa continued his dominance of the canoe events in 2017, winning the C1 200m to follow his 1,000m victory yesterday.
He clocked 39.522 to defeat Artsem Kozyr of Belarus, in 39.645.
Henrikas Zustautas of Lithuania took third place in 39.660.
There was also a return to form for the German K2 500m Olympic gold medallists, Franziska Weber and Tina Dietz, as they took victory in 1:42.925.
Anna Pulawska and Beata Mikolajczyk of Poland won the silver medal in 1:43.905.
There was a bronze medal for Belgian duo Lize Broekx and Hermien Peters in 1:44.467.