IWF President: Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus Bans Confirmed, Other Countries at Risk

IWF President Tamas Ajan has reportedly confirmed that the weightlifting federations of Kazakhstan, Russia, and Belarus will receive formal one-year bans from international competition starting in the next two months. The report, originally published on Yahoo Sports, confirms IWF proposals from earlier this summer following a series of positive doping retests from the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games. (Reports published on the IWF’s official website were not available as of this writing; their site is down after a hacker attack following the final weightlifting session in Rio.)

It also appears four additional countries are at risk of receiving the same sanctions.

At a meeting of the IWF Executive Board in July — held in the days before the Junior World Championships in Tbilisi, Georgia — a new protocol was introduced that would penalize national weightlifting federations based upon positive retests.

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.

While Kazakhstan and Belarus both had lifters compete — and medal — in Rio, the entire Russian Weightlifting Federation including athletes and officials were prohibited from participating. Now, it appears all three countries will start serving the year-long ban starting this fall.

Ajan’s statements affirms the IWF will be moving ahead with the ban and gives the first estimated timeline on the federations’ suspensions. In addition, the IWF has mentioned the national federations of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Moldova, and Turkey are also at risk of receiving year-long bans from the international stage.

There is no word yet on whether any positive doping samples from the 2016 Rio Olympics could impact — or trigger — federation-wide bans.

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