IWF Lifts Doping Suspensions On Turkey, Armenia, and Azerbaijan Early

Over the last month, there’s been a plethora of news regarding the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF), the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and recently formulated anti-doping regulations.

Earlier today, the IWF announced that Turkey, Armenia and Azerbaijan — three of the nine currently suspended countries for doping violations from the 2008 and 2012 Olympics — have had met criteria originally bestowed on them per their initial banning to partially restore some of the rights as members within the IWF. 


Back in October 2017, year-long suspensions began for nine countries following a ruling for multiple anti-doping rule violations (ADRV) from the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympics. These countries include: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, China, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkey, and Ukraine. 

At the time of their suspension in October, the IWF created a lengthy list of criteria each country needed to improve upon and follow to earn their rights back within the IWF. This list of new anti-doping criteria was in addition to paying a $50,000 USD fine as a contribution to the IWF’s enhanced anti-doping activity.

As of today, the IWF has stated that the countries above (Turkey, Armenia, and Azerbaijan) have met the criteria of asks per their 6-month check-ins. Turkey has been granted the ability to compete with youth athletes at IWF-focused youth events starting June 11th, while Armenia and Azerbaijan can do the same starting June 19th.

The IWF wrote in their press release, “The decision to favour youth athletes reflects a decision of the IWF Executive Board to provide additional opportunities for a young and demonstrably clean generation of young weightlifters who can serve as ambassadors for the sport in international competition.”


Within their press release, IWF President Tamas Ajan pointed out that the Independent Monitoring Group has found significant positive changes within each country’s policies toward clean sport and anti-doping procedures. 

While youth athletes have been granted the ability to compete by the end of 2018 in these three countries, there are still some rights that remain suspended and these include:

  • The right to organize IWF Events, IWF Congress, IWF Executive Board meetings, meetings of IWF Commissions and Committees;
  • The right to participate in the Congress with voting rights;
  • The right to submit proposals for inclusion in the Agenda of the Congress;
  • The right to submit proposals for the modification of the IWF Constitution, Technical and Competition Rules & Regulations;
  • The right to take part in and benefit from the IWF Development program apart from Education and Anti-Doping Seminars

As of right now, the IWF has stated that all nine countries remain under strict monitoring, and the Independent Monitoring Group will remain to have the ability to reverse restoration rights during the one-year suspension.

Feature image from @w.e.i.g.h.t.l.i.f.t.i.n.g.tur Instagram page.