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  • USA Weightlifting CEO Welcomes IOC Decision -- Federation Focus


    (ATR) The decision by the IOC to green light weightlifting for the 2024 Olympics in Paris is the result of “massive improvements to our sport” USA Weightlifting CEO Phil Andrews tells Around the Rings.
    Phil Andrews, USA Weightlifting CEO (ATR)

    On the opening day of its meeting in Lausanne, the IOC Executive Board decided to lift the threat of cutting the sport from the program of the 2024 Games in Paris. The IOC has been concerned for years about chronic doping problems that have disqualified dozens of medalists from Olympic Games and other multi-sport events as well as IWF championships.

    The IOC says the International Weightlifting Federation has made significant progress addressing those concerns, enough to end the uncertainty over Paris 2024.

    USA Weightlifting CEO Phil Andrews tells ATR that the IOC action is the result of work around the globe to remake the reputation of the sport.

    “It’s taken a monumental effort from many people involved in the sport to get to this moment, but it is incumbent upon us as a sport to ensure this good work continues and that we arrive in Tokyo with a clean but competitive platform to display to the world,” says Andrews.

    “Away from the platform, we have always tried to be ahead of the game with anti-doping, and indeed we are the only U.S. national governing body to require anti-doping education from athletes and coaches before registering for Championships,” he says.

    USA Weightlifting targeting big results at Tokyo 2020 (LiftingLife)
    “We also brought in our LiftClean program which sees testing right down to the local level and an additional random testing requirement for a minimum of six months before you can represent the USA in international competition,” says Andrews.

    He predicts big results in 2020 for the U.S. as a result.

    “We’re proving the impossible is possible, to have a successful U.S. team in the Olympic Games. We hope to bring home the most medals in 60 years in Tokyo,” he says.

    While Andrews expresses optimism, there are issues that remain, such as the 2019 world championships in Thailand. The IWF has decided to go ahead with the event, but no Thai lifters will be allowed to compete.

    AP columnist John Leicester is among those who are questioning whether the IOC should have waited to make the decision about weightlifting in Paris after Tokyo 2020.

    FEI's New Approach to Host Process Paying Dividends

    The governing body for horse sport reports there is plenty of interest in hosting the FEI World Championships 2022.

    Ingmar De Vos, FEI President (ATR)
    The FEI says 20 countries on four continents have submitted expressions of interest. Representatives from more than 30 different venues attended a workshop for potential host cities on Tuesday in Lausanne.

    “We hope that this new collaborative approach, in line with the IOC’s New Norm and based on transparency, cost-effectiveness and sustainability, will result in solid formal bids, but the proof of the pudding is in the eating!”, FEI President Ingmar De Vos said in a statement.

    “Our sport has grown so much that an all-discipline FEI World Equestrian Games has become too big for many venues to host. By opening up the bidding process for 2022 to single and multi-discipline bids, and not excluding a full Games, we believe that we have created a more enticing formula and the high level of expressions of interest suggests that we are on the right track.”

    The process now moves to the Candidate Phase, with a June 7 deadline for submitting a formal bid. A shortlist of candidates will then be decided by the end of June. Those bidders must turn in host agreements signed by both the candidate and relevant National Federation by mid-September, with candidates potentially being asked to present their bids to the FEI Evaluation Commission over the following month. Final evaluation of all shortlisted bids will be completed by the end of October, with recommendations provided to the FEI Board prior to a final decision to be made at the Board meeting in Moscow in mid-November.

    Surfing Returns to Asian Beach Games

    Riyue Bay on Hainan Island has played host to multiple ISA World Championships. (ISA/Sean Evans)
    The International Surfing Association (ISA) is celebrating the return of surfing to the sports program of the Asian Beach Games.

    The federation says it has received official notification that surfing will be included for the 2020 Asian Beach Games, set to take place in Sanya on China’s Hainan Island between Nov. 28 and Dec. 5.

    The decision was made by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) at their General Assembly earlier this month.

    Surfing returns to the Asian Beach Games for the first time since the inaugural edition in Bali, Indonesia in 2008.

    The ISA says being included in a major multisport event in China will aid in the federation’s long-term development strategy to grow all surfing disciplines in the world’s most populous country.

    “There is huge growth potential in China, particularly on Hainan Island, which has become the center of Chinese Surfing,” said ISA President Fernando Aguerre in a statement.

    “We are currently riding a wave of momentum towards Surfing’s debut at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and it’s great to see more multisport events adopting the youthful, high-performance energy of Surfing.”

    Written by Ed Hula and Gerard Farek

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