IWF Moves to Suspend Three Federations, Keep Suspended Lifters Out of Rio Olympics

In a statement published on their website, the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) has detailed a summary of their Executive Board’s actions during meetings in Tblisi, Georgia, in the days before the Junior World Weightlifting Championships. The full text of the statements can be found here, and they include multiple points and plans relating to recent doping allegations and retests from the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympic Games.

We encourage interested readers to check out the full IWF statement, but several points from the announcement are highlighted below.

Namely, the IWF has announced their intention to block provisionally suspended lifters — including Olympic champions Ilya Ilyin, Svetlana Podobedova, and Zulfiya Chinshanlo — from competing in Rio, pending IOC disqualification. From their announcement:

The IWF will take appropriate measures to make sure that the athletes potentially implicated in the reanalysis process of the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games – once disqualified by the IOC – shall not participate in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

The IWF has also rescinded Olympic qualification spots from eight countries (six previously unannounced) and proposed 1-year suspensions for the national weightlifting federations from Kazakhstan, Russia, and Belarus:

The IWF Executive Board has decided that National Federations confirmed to have produced 3 or more Anti-Doping Rule Violations in the combined re-analysis process of the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games shall be suspended for 1 year. Countries thus subject to suspension are: KAZ, RUS, BLR.

A Russian Weightlifting Federation ban is in line with comments IOC Vice President John Coates made earlier this month.

In addition, the IWF announced 2016 Olympic spots have been withdrawn from the following countries:

Azerbaijan (1 man, 1 woman)

Belarus (1 man)

Kazakhstan (1 man, 1 woman)

Moldova (2 men)

North Korea (1 man, 1 woman)

Russia (1 man, 1 woman)

Romania (1 man, this was previously announced in late 2015)

Uzbekistan (1 woman, this was previously announced in late 2015)

Right now, it’s unclear if or how rescinding these quotas could affect Olympic spots for other countries; BarBend contributor Mike Graber has written previously that doping results could impact Olympic spots for United States men (read here) and women (read here). This week, one French news outlet reported that nation’s team would received an additional men’s spot in Rio as a result of doping-related suspensions.