As the world gears up for the 2017 World Weightlifting Championships, the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) has vowed to work harder than ever to keep them drug-free.
In a statement published on their official website, the IWF wrote that they expect a “record number of anti-doping tests” and outlined how the organization is preparing for the first WWC since 2015 — before the Rio Olympics, a litany of positive retests from the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games, and the Russian anti-doping scandal intensified doping concerns in international competition.
Though the WWC won’t be held for another 50 days, the IWF noted that they had already begun implementing their anti-doping measures. So far, 584 athletes are scheduled to participate and 288 tests had been carried out, representing 49% of the athletes. Both urine and blood samples are being tested.
The testing is taking place alongside outreach and educational programs that are being organized in conjunction with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the Clean Sport Commission.
“We had meetings a month ago in Colorado Springs with both the organising committee and the US Anti-Doping Agency,” said Dr. Patrick Schamasch of the IWF’s independent Anti-Doping Commission. “(We are) now ready to ensure a full range of in and out of competition tests for both urine and blood.”
He went on to say,
Our close collaboration with USADA has allowed us to have a high degree of confidence in the quality of the anti-doping program for Anaheim.
In addition to looking at important elements like the sample collection facilities, the doping control officers and chaperones, the IWF Anti-Doping Commission has worked very carefully on the test distribution plan.
We even will have on site IWF experts available who know the athletes well, who know their performances and physiques, and who can assist on-site with the targeting of in and out-of-competition tests.
The 2017 World Weightlifting Championships will take place in Anaheim, California between November 28 and December 6, 2017 at the Anaheim Convention Center.
Featured image via @iwfnet on Instagram.