Today, the IWF Executive Board started its two days meeting in Tbilisi, GEO with the first day entirely dedicated to Anti-Doping.
The IWF fully identifies with the content of the Declaration of the Olympic Summit stating that all the stakeholders of the Olympic Movement must do their utmost to ensure that only clean athletes should be able to participate in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
At all times, the IWF has identified itself with the stand, the policy and the guidelines of the IOC regarding doping and cheaters in sport and aligned its own rules, policy and their implementation to the principle of Zero Tolerance. The IWF Anti-Doping Policy has one of the most stringent sanction systems in the world and in addition to the severe regulations, the IWF has been the only International Federation that also elaborated a Special Anti-Doping Policy for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games (approved by the IOC) which enables the IWF to prohibit a National Federation/National Olympic Committee from entering competitors in weightlifting at the next Olympic Games in case of multiple Anti-Doping Rule Violations, and includes the right for the IWF Executive Board in certain situations to withdraw a number of athlete quota places.
The aforementioned Special Anti-Doping Policy for Rio 2016 and the related CAS confirmation of banning Bulgaria from competing at the upcoming Olympic Games is exemplary in the world of sport.
Protecting clean athletes by standing up against those who do not comply with the rules remains and will continue to remain crucial for the IWF.
Recognizing the importance of the fight against doping at all times and with special regard to the serious consequences of the 2015 IWF World Championships Houston, USA results and the reanalyzes of the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 samples, the IWF Executive Board made the following decisions today:
- The IWF Executive Board strictly and immediately applied its Special Anti-Doping rules for Rio 2016 on Quota withdrawal to countries having produced multiple positive cases in the Qualification period.
The IWF Executive Board unanimously voted the withdrawal of 11 quotas to the additional 2 that were already withdrawn from Romania and Uzbekistan.
Two (2) quotas were withdrawn from Azerbaijan (1Man – 1Woman) due to the multiple positive cases in the qualification period
One (1) quota was withdrawn from Belorussia (1Man) due to the multiple positive cases in the qualification period
Two (2) quotas were withdrawn from Kazakhstan (1Man – 1Woman) due to the multiple positive cases in the qualification period
Two (2) quotas were withdrawn from Moldova (2Men) due to the multiple positive cases in the qualification period
Two (2) quotas were withdrawn from Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (1Man – 1Woman) due to the multiple positive cases in the qualification period
Two (2) quotas were withdrawn from Russia (1Man – 1Woman) due to the multiple positive cases in the qualification period
One (1) quota was withdrawn from Romania (1Man) due to the multiple positive cases in the qualification period (19.11.2015)
One (1) quota was withdrawn from Uzbekistan (1Woman) due to the multiple positive cases in the qualification period (19.11.2015)
- The IWF is setting up an Independent Investigation Commission to investigate into countries with multiple Anti-Doping Rule violations (3 or more per year) including those that have produced 3 or more Adverse Analytical Findings or Presumptive Adverse Analytical Findings in the reanalysis procedures of the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games.
- The IWF Executive Board is modifying its Anti-Doping Policy to enable it to apply extra sanctions beyond the existing articles, including suspension of Federations which produce the most significant number of Anti-Doping Rule Violations in an Olympic period.
- The IWF will take appropriate measures to make sure that the athletes potentially implicated in the reanalysis process of the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games – once disqualified by the IOC – shall not participate in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
- The IWF Executive Board has decided that National Federations confirmed to have produced 3 or more Anti-Doping Rule Violations in the combined re-analysis process of the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games shall be suspended for 1 year. Countries thus subject to suspension are: KAZ, RUS, BLR.
Additionally to the above cited decisions, an Action Plan including but not limited to the below mentioned points has been approved to be implemented by the IWF Executive Board prior to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games:
- Taking into consideration the overall situation, the IWF Anti-Doping Commission is engaging testing and analytical experts and works as a temporary task force
- An extensive testing on the International Registered Testing Pool and international athletes worldwide is being carried out with the aim to test all possible participants prior to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games
- Targeted education and keeping up the good work in all World Championships, Continental Seminars
- Carry on with the new available analytical methods
- Increase the long term storage of samples
- Implement a REPORT DOPING tab on the IWF website to ensure more source for receiving intelligence
Additionally, the IWF Executive Board expressed disappointment in a position statement over the appointment of Mr. Sergey Syrtsov, President of the Russian Weightlifting Federation as Chair of the EWF Anti-Doping Commission.
Given the current environment, the IWF Executive Board strongly suggests that Mr. Syrtsov and the European Weightlifting Federation reconsiders the appointment to this particular position.
The IWF Executive Board is determined to continue with the application of its strict system of sanctions and elaborating further sport specific rules in order to protect the clean athletes and the integrity of the sport of weightlifting.