Suspension Starts for Nine IWF Member Federations

One-year suspensions of nine IWF member federations took effect this weekend as a result of anti-doping rule violations (ADRVs) from the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games. The countries are Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, China, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkey, and Ukraine, none of which will be able to participate in the World Weightlifting Championships in California this November.

Samples from the Beijing and London Olympics were retested last year, and while many athletes have been suspended as a result of the retests, it took some time to take action against the member federations. According to a statement published by the IWF, the suspension occurred “following the decision of the IWF Executive Board on 30 September 2017 to approve the recommendation of IWF’s Tbilisi Commission and to uphold the Board’s decision of 22 June 2016.”

The member federations (MFs) will have three weeks to appeal the decision if they so choose to. If they don’t, they’ll be monitored by an independent monitoring group, mostly consisting of anti-doping experts from outside the sport of weightlifting, for the full year’s suspension. If the group is satisfied with the MF’s progress, a decision may be made to grant a Partial Conditional Reinstatement of their right to participate in international competitions, but this depends on “the gravity of the MF’s violation.”

President of the International Weightlifting Federation Tamas Ajan said,

“The steps taken in weightlifting today are unprecedented in the history of sport. They show our total commitment to protect clean athletes. It was clear to us at the IWF that the problems in these nine countries required whole national cultures to change. For many of these member federations, there has already been a change of leadership and work has already begun to change the culture. Of course, we welcome these developments, as they will facilitate to those federations to comply with the requirements of a clean sport.“

Ajan went on to say that anti-doping efforts will be implemented “with increased intensity” in the nine countries in the hopes that they can rejoin the IWF at the end of their suspension.

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Nick is a content producer and journalist with over seven years’ experience reporting on four continents. His first articles about health were on a cholera outbreak in rural Kenya while he was reporting for a French humanitarian organization. His next writing job was covering the nightlife scene in Shanghai. He’s written on a lot of different kinds of things, but his passion for health ultimately led him to cover it full time.Shanghai was where he managed to publish his first health related article (it was on managing diarrhea), he then went on to produce a radio documentary about bodybuilding in Australia before he finished his Master’s degrees in Journalism and International Relations and headed to New York City. Here, he’s been writing on health full time for more than five years for outlets like Men's Health, VICE, and Popular Science.Nick’s interest in health kind of comes from an existential angle: how are we meant to live? How do we reach our potential? Does the body influence the mind? (Believe it or not, his politics Master’s focused on religion.)Questions like these took him through a lot of different areas of health and fitness like gymnastics, vegetarianism, kettlebell training, fasting, CrossFit, Paleo, and so on, until he realized (or decided) that strength training fit best with the ideas of continuous, measurable self improvement.At BarBend his writing focuses a little more on nutrition and long-form content with a heaping dose of strength training. His underlying belief is in the middle path: you don’t have to count every calorie and complete every workout in order to benefit from a healthy lifestyle and a stronger body. Plus, big traps are cool.