In breaking news out of 2018 Weightlifting World Championships in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, the Weightlifting Federation of Kazakhstan has announced on Instagram that Ilya Ilyin will not be competing in the tournament.
Translated from Russian, Ilyin is quoted: “I have been thinking for a very long time how to tell the people of Kazakhstan that I will not be competing at the World Championships. Finally, I decided to announce this here and now. I will not compete at the World Championships because I have a spinal injury. And quite serious. And, frankly, my further sports career is in question at all. But nothing, I will not be discouraged, everything is in order. I am going to Ashgabat as a trainer. I will bring Nizat Rakhimov to the platform because we worked together for a year. As with Zulfiya Chinshanlo. I will help coaches, my team. In a word, I will speak at the World Championships as a playing coach.”
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At the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games, Ilyin was originally the Olympic champion in the 94KG category. He looked on pace to win his third consecutive Olympic Championship going into the 2016 Olympic Games, however reanalysis of his drug tests came up positive for banned performance enhancers. He received a two-year suspension from the sport, which ended on June 10th of this year.
In September of this year, Ilyin competed at the 2018 Kazakhstan National Championships, where he snatched 172KG and lifted 208KG in the clean and jerk for a 380KG total, which won him a gold medal in the 102KG category.
Now, his return to an international weightlifting platform will have to wait.
Featured image: @wf_rk on Instagram