China Could Miss 2017 IWF World Championships After Losing Beijing Olympic Medals

China could miss this year’s International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) World Championships, which will take place in Anaheim, California, this November. This news comes after two of their weightlifters recently lost appeals based off of failed doping retests from the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Inside the Games reported that two of the three Chinese weightlifters originally testing positive during Beijing re-analysis tests have lost their appeals at the Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS). The original news of their failed doping tests were announced last year prior to the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Inside the Games quote an IWF spokeswoman as saying, “Based on the rules applicable, IWF will duly take over the results management of their cases in terms of sanctions extending beyond their Olympic Games participation.”

She added, “As for the sanctions to be assessed against the athletes’ Federation, the IWF Executive Board will now notify the Federation of the alleged breach and the possible consequences in line with its decision of 22 June 2016 and Article 12 of the IWF anti-doping policy.” Additionally, she added that the IWF will make no further comments until the case is closed.

The two weightlifters who lost their appeals were 2008 Beijing gold medalists Chunhong Liu (69kg) and Lei Cao (75kg). Both of these weightlifters failed dping tests after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) re-analyzed 2008 Beijing Olympic samples prior to the 2016 Rio Olympics. Both weightlifters tested positive for the substance GHRP-2, which is a growth hormone that releases hextapeptide.

Chinese 48kg weightlifter Chen Xiexia is the third weightlifter involved in the failed retests. She also provided a positive test for GHRP-2 upon re-analysis, but wasn’t involved in the appeals. With both athletes failing their appeals, this could leave China with an official one year ban per the International Weightlifting Federation’s rules.

According to IWF rules, “national federations confirmed to have produced three or more anti-doping rule violations in the combined re-analysis process of the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games shall be suspended for one year.” 

As of right now, there’s been no official word from the IWF about China’s involvement in the World Championships. We’re still waiting to see how these lost appeals will impact China’s participation in international competition.

Feature image from @jimkiernan Instagram page.