PRESS COMMUNICATION of the International Weightlifting Federation

The 21-member Executive Board of the IWF, complete
with Dr. Patrick Schamasch, Medical Director of the IOC, Tom Dielen,
European Director of WADA, as well as experts from eight further
European, Asian and Panamerican countries, held its extraordinary
meeting in Budapest, on 2nd and 3rd February 2005.

The primary objective of the meeting was to further
tighten the anti-doping measures of the IWF – which are singularly
severe anyway among the sports; to elaborate new strategies in the
interest of a clean weightlifting sport.

The IWF Executive Board reinforced its stance
against the misuse of doping and engaged in an aggressive campaign
in order to eradicate doping from the sport.

It issued the unrelenting and strong message to all
competitors and national federations: “You don’t comply – you don’t
compete!” The WADA Director immediately asked the IWF for the right
to use this new slogan in its own operations and programs.

Both the International Olympic Committee and WADA
confirmed their full support to the Federation. Patrick Schamasch,
IOC Director passed on a personal message of Dr. Jacques Rogge, IOC
President, when expressing appreciation for the IWF’s long
anti-doping fight, and Tom Dielen did the same on behalf of the WADA
Board.

Proving again that it does not only pass
declarations against doping but it does act too, the IWF Executive
Board approved further, even more rigorous measures, complementing
its Anti-Doping Policy in force since August,2004:
• To set up
and train its own team of doping control officers with the
assistance of WADA;
• To sanction the coaches surrounding the
athletes failing the dope test, even if the national federation
concerned does not name those guilty. In this case the President of
the national federation will be declared “persona non grata” in an
international context;
• To ban hiring coaches in foreign
countries who have coached several athletes testing positive;

To publish the list of national federations and athletes on the
IWF’s internet homepage who fail to comply with the obligation to
submit whereabouts information for the out-of-competition controls,
and of course these are not allowed to compete;
• To increase the
percentage of out-of-competition testing as opposed to
in-competition testing;
• To publish on the website a separate
list of positive competitors back to 2001, and, in the future to
publish the positive test results immediately after the result of
the A sample;

The Executive Board then decided to enforce 1-year
suspension against national federations that produced three or more
positive test results last year. These are: India, Iran and Hungary.
In the latter’s case a temporary suspension applies, depending on
the decision of CAS concerning two pending appeals.

In its meeting, the Board dealt with the IWF
Centenary and Electoral Congress to be held in Istanbul, Turkey, in
a month’s time. Each Member made a statement in support of the
nomination of Dr. Tamás Aján for the next term to President of the
Federation. They were dismayed to note the decision of the Executive
Board of the Hungarian Weightlifting Federation last November, not
supporting Dr. Aján’s candidature to IWF President. The IWF Board
was unanimous in finding that statement unacceptable, and believed
that it did not serve the interests of Hungarian weightlifting,
Hungarian sports diplomacy or international sports. They were also
unanimous in deciding: the IWF Executive Board will put forward Dr.
Tamás Aján as candidate to the President’s position at the Congress.
(By the way, Dr. Aján is unopposed).

The Executive Board decided that soon after the
Congress on 4th March approves the new rule called the “1 kilo rule”
(a revolutionary move to replace the current 2.5kg progression
between attempts and world records in 0.5kg increments), the Junior
World Championships in Busan, Korea in May 2005 will be carried out
in this new system.

The Executive Board accepted the affiliation of a
new member: Scotland. That is the 172nd affiliated member of the
IWF.

On Wednesday, 2 February, the leadership of this
100-year old International Federation was received at the Hungarian
Parliament by Péter Kiss, Minister of the Chancellery, who confirmed
the Hungarian Government’s continued support to both Dr. Tamás Aján
as President of the IWF and the Federation’s Secretariat
headquartered in Budapest for 29 years.

Yannis Sgouros (GRE)
General Secretary IWF
Sam Coffa (AUS)
1st Vice President
IWF
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