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  • USA Weightlifting CEO comments on calls to scrap doping sanctions panel


    International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) General Secretary Mohamed Jaloud yesterday suggested that the organisation should scrap the body that dishes out punishment to nations with multiple doping offences and turn instead to the International Testing Agency (ITA) and its own board members.

    Phil Andrews, CEO of USA Weightlifting, has been a key individual in the sport's continued fight against doping, and shared his views on the issue.

    NOVEMBER 11, 2019 – “I agree entirely with the General Secretary that we should outsource every bit of our anti-doping operation and results management, including sanctions for national federations, to an independent body such as the International Testing Agency (ITA), and I applaud his suggestion to do so. However, that result must be binding at the ITA level with no elected, political or otherwise influenced body able to change the decision, aside from the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

    “The IWF, under Mr. Ajan & Mr Jaloud’s leadership, has made significant progress in tackling doping, and in holding national federations and offending athletes accountable for their actions.

    “As the son of a criminal myself, I have to disagree with the statement that punishing federations is like punishing the family for the acts of one criminal. This issue has affected my life, because of the actions of my family. Unfortunately while I empathise that there are, potentially, clean athletes in these nations who will not be able to participate in the Olympic Games, World Championships or other events because of the offences of double digit amounts of doping offences within the Federation then these individuals should be looking towards those who committed the offence for compensation, not to the people holding them accountable. When I had a family member in prison, I looked to them for accountability – I did not call for a change to Her Majesty’s home office.

    “Ideally, we see a 2024, or 2028 Olympic Games with full participation. To be clear – we need Egypt, Thailand and others competing well, clean and on a level playing field. These are major Weightlifting nations that ought to be on the World and Olympic platform, and whom can learn from the examples seen in Russian Weightlifting, Kazakh Weightlifting and others to learn how to change the doping practices that have existed within their nations leading to these regrettable but necessary sanctions.”


    Phil Andrews was appointed Chief Executive Officer of USAW in April 2016 and is responsible for overseeing strategy and operations of the organization.

    Originally appointed as Director of Programs & Events for the organization, he oversaw the Events, Outreach and High Performance support functions of the National Governing Body.

    During his tenure at USAW, Andrews has helped to transform the sport, overseeing a transformation of its culture in the United States and abroad, with US membership having almost trebled since he took over.

    Andrews restructured operations and governance of USAW; supported significant reform internationally especially in the area of anti-doping; hosted three International Weightlifting Federation World Championship events; created the first independent Ethics & Judicial process and overseen the best high-performance results in 60 years.

    He has overseen a significant increase in funds for the organization, with sponsorship cash trebled and revenue increased by nearly $2m annually.

    Andrews also serves as a member of the Membership Commission of the International Weightlifting Federation to grow the sport’s participation.

    He is Vice President of the Ibero-American Weightlifting Federation, and also sits on the USOPC’s National Governing Body Council, and the NGB Leadership Liaison group to the US Center for SafeSport.

    Prior to his roles with USA Weightlifting, Andrews worked in professional Ice Hockey for British Champions Coventry Blaze; the FTSE 250 student hospitality business Unite Group PLC; and David Lloyd Leisure.

    He then oversaw operations and commercial activities for the University of East London, notably hosting the USOPC’s High Performance Training Center for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

    Andrews, who was born and raised in England, currently resides in Colorado Springs with his wife.

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