World Weightlifting Body Suspends Nine Countries For Doping Violations

Remigio Civitarese
Ottobre 1, 2017

Weightlifting is suffering from what Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), called a "massive doping problem".

"The countries will receive official notification about the suspension mid-October and at the IWF there is no possibility to compete as neutral or independent", IWF spokeswoman Lilla Rozgonyi said.

The decision by the International Weightlifting Federation followed the retesting of anti-doping samples from the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.

Of those 49, all but six came from former Soviet Bloc countries, where the doping culture is most embedded.

A "Tbilisi Commission " comprising Germany's Christian Baumgartner, Britain's Mike Irani and Peru's Jose Quinones investigated the nine nations and their findings, with a recommendation to implement the bans, were presented in Bucharest. "The MFs which have been identified as such are now Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, China, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine", the IWF statement issued on Saturday read.

"At the IWF we have made it clear that the incidence of doping in some areas is totally unacceptable and that our Members have a responsibility to ensure clean sport in their countries", IWF President Tamas Ajan said in a statement published on the federation's website.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) sanctioned the suspension after a series of appeals from individuals and federations failed in the past several months.

Bulgaria and Russian Federation were both barred from last year's Olympics - Bulgaria after eight of its athletes tested positive for steroids ahead of the European championships, Russian Federation after Wada accused it of widespread drug use and cover-ups. The reason were numerous violations of anti-doping rules at the Olympics in Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012.

"But we will not turn our backs on them; we will continue to work with them, (the World Anti-Doping Agency), and their national anti-doping agencies to support their anti-doping activities and help make cultural change".

That means that Kazakhstani weightlifters will miss the IWF World Championships in Anaheim, U.S. scheduled to be held on November 27 - December 5, 2017. Global sports federations now check data on each athlete mentioned by the independent commission.

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