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  • Weightlifting on Brink of Olympic Expulsion


    (ATR) International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach says changes to the Olympic program in 2024 may have to be made if the International Weightlifting Federation cannot curb its doping crisis.

    IWF World Championships in Houston (ATR)
    The IOC chief says the Summer 2024 sports program will feature all the same 28 sports that were contested at the Rio 2016 Games but with the caveat that all 28 International Federations must remain in good standing with the Olympic Charter.

    Bach singled out the International Weightlifting Federation and the recent rash of doping positives from retests of the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympic weightlifters during his press conference in Lausanne on June 9.

    “The IOC Executive Board has set an additional condition for this sport,” Bach said. “That means that the IWF has until December 2017 to deliver a satisfactory report to the IOC on how they will address the massive doping problem this sport is facing.”

    While the announcement puts the sport’s Olympic future in doubt, its Olympic present also took a hit at the IOC EB meeting. The IOC announced cutbacks to athlete quotas in some sports to promote gender equality. Weightlifting was one of the federations hit hardest by the cutbacks, losing 64 athlete allocations.

    IOC chief Thomas Bach is angered by doping cheats. (ATR)
    “We have also already sent a very strong signal to IWF with regards to the program at 2020 by reducing the quota of athletes by 64 athletes for weightlifting in the program for Tokyo 2020,” Bach said.

    Bach did note that the IWF has taken some positive steps in recent months to regain the confidence of the IOC.

    “The last General Assembly of the IWF has already approved some measures and then we will see how they will favor and develop their plans and what ideas they have for implementation,” Bach said during the closing press conference.

    “Then we will take our decision in all this so you should never forget in all this time the IWF was declared compliant by WADA with the world anti-doping code and there were some efforts already being undertaken and we are looking for more.”

    The IWF now has six months to implement further changes and remain on the Olympic program.

    Written by Kevin Nutley

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