The IWF today expressed its surprise at the IOC Executive Board (EB)’s decision to continue the conditional nature of weightlifting’s inclusion for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games programme, but maintains its ongoing commitment to implementing robust anti-doping measures in order to protect clean weightlifters. The IWF had been confident weightlifting would be reinstated given it has fulfilled all the criteria set by the IOC Executive Board in December 2017.
The IWF is honoured to be praised by the IOC for the excellent work, positive steps and strong initiatives over the last seven months. The IWF has implemented all the recommendations of the Independent Clean Sport Commission and the IWF Sport Programme Commission, including the introduction of a new Anti-Doping Policy, and has secured WADA compliance. However, following a review of the IWF’s report, the IOC EB took the decision to maintain weightlifting’s status in Paris 2024 pending a review of the outcome of the measures the IWF has already implemented.
The IWF’s commitment to protecting clean athletes goes beyond compliance and the IWF has also implemented a number of measures in addition to the IOC’s stated requirements. The IWF has introduced a new Qualification System designed to reward nations with a history of clean weightlifting, which has drawn praise from the IOC. The IWF has also focused on education in order to change cultures and was involved in several education seminars for suspended nations with a high incidence of doping. The IWF recently partnered with USA Weightlifting and USADA to provide worldwide anti-doping education to weightlifters.
Positive outcomes of the measures already implemented by the IWF can already be inferred from recent competition results, notably the success of countries like the USA at the recent IWF Junior World Championships in Tashkent.
IWF President Tamas Ajan said:
“We respect the IOC’s decision and our commitment to ensuring clean sport remains as strong as ever. We will continue to work closely in partnership with the IOC and WADA to ensure a clean competition for weightlifters.
“We are very proud of the excellent progress we have made in such a short period of time and we are already seeing the positive outcome of the measures we have implemented. Cultures in countries with high historical incidences of doping will not change overnight, but we are moving in the right direction and were pleased the IOC acknowledged this. The IWF has sent out a very clear message that doping will not be tolerated.
We are confident that the IOC will be satisfied by the positive outcome of the measures we have introduced with their approval, and we are grateful to have the support and partnership of the IOC in ensuring that clean competition for weightlifting.”