On the first day of a three-day meeting in Switzerland, the International Olympic Committee has confirmed that weightlifting will be included at the Paris 2024 Olympics.
“The IOC Executive Board decided to lift the status of ‘conditional inclusion’ of weightlifting on the Programme of Olympic Games Paris 2024,” said IOC spokesperson Mark Adams.
It’s been a bit of a bumpy ride for Olympic weightlifting fans, to say the least. After doping scandal after scandal rocked the sport, the IOC made it known in June 2017 that the number of athletes allowed to compete in Tokyo in 2020 would be reduced from a maximum of ten per eligible country to eight. IOC President Thomas Bach at the time said that they had, “sent a strong signal to weightlifting by reducing the quota for athletes for Tokyo 2020.”
Come April 2018, five countries — ones that met the criterion of twenty or more doping violations between 2008 and 2018 — had their maximum spots reduced to just two athletes each.
In July 2018, more bad news: weightlifting would remain on conditional status for the 2024 Games. In other words, if the sport didn’t clean up its act, it might not remain an Olympic event at all.
The International Weightlifting Federation has since instituted a range of reforms including an increase in anti-doping educational content and implementing new standards from the Clean Sport and Sport Programme Commission, independent advisors, the IOC, and the World Anti-Doping Association.
The news that weightlifting is back on the roster in Paris has come as a big relief to countless athletes, officials, and fans.
On a Facebook post publicizing the announcement, USA Weightlifting wrote the following:
The IOC Executive Board today decided to restore #Weightlifting to full inclusion at #Paris2024, subject to the IWF finalizing its agreement with the International Testing Agency, which is expected in the coming days.
While it is great news that Weightlifting’s inclusion on the Paris2024 Olympic Programme is no longer ‘conditional,’ the fight for #CleanSport continues. The IOC Executive Board was very clear today that weightlifting must continue down the path of Clean Sport to ensure its spot on the Olympic Programme.
The inclusion at Paris is subject to some conditions, though: the main one is that the IWF needs to reach an agreement with the International Testing Agency, which is expected to happen “in a matter of days,” IOC Sports Director Kit McConnell told Reuters. Nations with twenty or more doping violations between 2008 and 2020 will still be allowed only one man and one woman at the Games.
Featured image via @iwfnet on Instagram.