As of today, the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) publicly disclosed initial findings from last year’s IWF World Championships anti-doping tests. They report that four athletes have come back with adverse analytical findings. In their report, they administered 212 tests (141 urine, 43 blood) to the 315 athletes who were in attendance at the Championships. This equates to 67% of total athlete test participation.
In their press release, they point out that this is an improvement compared to the 2015 IWF Weightlifting World Championships, which only had 40% of total athlete test participation (an improvement of 27%). The test analysis were performed at the independent WADA-accredited labs based in Montreal and Los Angeles.
The four athletes that produced adverse analytical findings can be seen below. These athletes have been provisionally suspended until further notice, and the IWF will make a formal statement once there’s confirmation on an anti-doping rule violation.
- Dimitris MINASIDIS (CYP): GW501516 (S4 Hormone and Metabolic Modulators/ Peroxisome Proliferator Activated Receptor δ (PPARδ) agonists)
- Aurimas DIDZBALIS (LTU): Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator S-22 (S1.2 Other Anabolic Agents)
- Dumitru CAPTARI (ROU): Ephedrine (S5 Diuretics and Masking Agents)
- Romela BEGAJ (ALB): Stanozolol (S1.1 Anabolic Agents)
In the last few months, the IWF has been working to improve and reevaluate their anti-doping procedures. They’ve had multiple meetings with a Clean Sport and Sport Programme Commission, which has helped them formulate a better means of ensuring clean sport. The IWF has now reworked and is improving their means of testing athlete per the independent advisers’ recommendations.
This major push came after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) sent a strong message to the sport of weightlifting due to their previous anti-doping issues by decreasing their athlete quota for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. While four athletes may be fewer than previous years, the IWF’s release still states that it’s four too many.
Feature image from @iwfnet Instagram page.