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  • Weightlifting Wraps Up in Doha


    Iran’s Hussein Rezazadeh prepares for the lift that won the world championship. (ATR) 
    (ATR) Iranian sports fans brought the 2005 Weightlifting World Championships to a noisy conclusion, cheering for a gold medal in the top weight class, the final event at the 10 day meet in Doha, Qatar.

    More than 30 world records were set at the Al Saad Sports Club, mostly by women, International Weightlifting Federation President Tamas Ajan tells Around the Rings.

    "I think this shows the very healthy nature of our sport," says Ajan. The IWF is celebrating its Centenary in 2005.

    So far, none of the 300+ athletes competing in Doha have tested positive for drugs, a contrast to the Vancouver championships when several medalists were disqualified.

    In Doha, the highest-profile disqualification so far belongs to Turkey. The country was banned from international competition until next May over repeated violations of policy on unannounced testing. The last straw for Turkey came when star Halil Mutlu, known as the Little Dynamo, tested for higher than normal levels of testosterone at the European championships a few weeks ago. The Turkish federation was also fined $100,000 by the IWF.

    Ajan said there a few unspecified small problems with the organization of the Doha championships, which he blamed on inexperience.

    Helped by free admission, there were capa
    Qatar weightlifting federation leader Ebrahim Waleed Al Abdulla and IWF President Tamas Ajan. 
    city crowds of about 2,000 at the sports hall, with most of the seats along one side of the arena. The IWF prefers theater-style seating with direct views of the podium.

    The championships were well-timed for IOC visitors. President Jacques Rogge stopped by for more than an hour earlier in the week. On the final day of lifting, members Tony Khoury, Nawal El Moutawakel and Thomas Bach sat alongside Ajan at the top table.

    The Weightlifting World Championships will head to the Caribbean in 2007, when Dominica will host the event.

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