IWF Provisionally Suspends Oleg Chen for Doping Violation

The International Weightlifting Federation has provisionally suspended Russian weightlifter Oleg Chen due to a violation of the IWF’s anti-doping policy.

The IWF hasn’t said much about the circumstances surrounding the -69kg athlete’s suspension and has only published the following short announcement on their website:

IWF reports that Mr. Oleg CHEN (RUS) has been charged with the violation of Article 2.2 of the IWF Anti-Doping Policy.

As a consequence, the Athlete is provisionally suspended in view of a potential anti-doping rule violation.

In any case where it is determined that the athlete did not commit an anti-doping rule violation, the relevant decision will also be published.

IWF will not make any further comments on the case until it is closed.

The section of the IWF’s Anti-Doping Policy to which the statement refers is titled, “Use or Attempted Use by an Athlete of a Prohibited Substance or a Prohibited Method.” Russian superheavyweight Ruslan Albegov was charged with the same violation last month, though as we pointed out then, a violation of section 2.2 doesn’t necessarily mean a positive doping test. The policy reads that a violation “may be established by any reliable means” such as,

(…) admissions by the Athlete, witness statements, documentary evidence, conclusions drawn from longitudinal profiling, including data collected as part of the Athlete Biological Passport, or other analytical information.

Russia, along with China, Kazakhstan, and six other weightlifting federations, is already in the midst of a one-year suspension caused by positive doping retests from the Beijing and London Olympics. But Chen is being suspended as an individual, which means that his suspension could last longer than Russia’s suspension. If Chen’s suspension is upheld — remember that right now, it’s just provisional — it also means that future penalties could be harsher, since an individual’s suspensions count when the IWF issues repercussions.

Chen is one of the strongest -69kg weightlifters in Russia and possibly on Earth. Just last month, he block snatched four kilograms over the world record: 170 kilograms (374.8 pounds). (Though he sometimes trains closer to 72kg bodyweight.)

Chen earned gold at the 2013 and 2014 European Championships, took home silver at the 2017 European Championships, and won silver at the Weightlifting World Championships in 2011, 2013, and 2015.

Featured image via @chenoleg on Instagram.

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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 things.After Shanghai, he went on to produce a radio documentary about bodybuilding in Australia before finishing his Master’s degrees in Journalism and International Relations and heading to New York City. Here, he’s been writing on health full time for more than five years for outlets like BarBend, Men's Health, VICE, and Popular Science.No fan of writing in the third person, Nick’s passion for health stems from an interest in self improvement: How do we reach our potential?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.