Earlier this year, in a major move by the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) towards increased transparency and independence in its anti-doping efforts, the IWF delegated the management of its anti-doping program to the International Testing Agency (ITA). As part of this partnership, the IWF in collaboration with ITA, has decided today to assert 5 anti-doping rule violations against Russian athletes based on the evidence arising from the investigations conducted by Prof. McLaren and the WADA Intelligence & Investigations department (WADA I&I) into the Russian doping scheme. In view of the severity of the asserted anti-doping rule violations and compelling nature of the evidence, the IWF in cooperation with the ITA have also decided to provisionally suspend the relevant athletes. On the behalf of the IWF, the ITA will be prosecuting these cases before the competent jurisdiction, in accordance with the applicable IWF Anti-Doping Policy.
These assertions are the result of a close collaboration between IWF and WADA I&I, which provided invaluable support including documentary packages containing the relevant evidence with respect to the individual athletes. The IWF and ITA jointly are conducting follow-up investigations that may lead to further cases being brought in the near future.
IWF President Tamas Ajan said:
“The IWF regrets these additional cases of doping in our sport from some years ago. We note without any satisfaction that weightlifting was far from the only sport to have been affected by the extensive and historical Russian doping revealed by whistleblowers, the media and WADA. We can be satisfied, however, that the IWF has shown once again our determination to protect clean sport and promote clean athletes. We have not shown any hesitation in taking the right decisions.
“While the IWF has done so much to begin a bright new chapter for our sport, we will also do what we can to pursue historical cases of doping, especially when such evidence is provided by partners like WADA. The IWF is grateful to WADA and the ITA for the very detailed and extensive work carried out in preparing the materials and prosecuting the cases arising out of the investigations into the Russian doping scheme”
In recent years, the IWF has implemented a comprehensive array of innovative anti-doping measures, aimed at ensuring a culture of clean weightlifting. These include the establishment of an independent Clean Sport Commission, suspensions of members with a strong prevalence of historical doping, extensive education and rehabilitation programmes, new bodyweight categories and an Olympic Qualification System that rewards countries with a record of clean athletes.
The IWF Anti-Doping Policy can be found here: IWF Anti-Doping Policy
The IWF’s public disclosure page can be found here: Anti-Doping News
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