On July 24th, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced that Russian athletes will be allowed to compete subject to final approval of their International Federation (IF). Today, the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF), the governing body of Olympic Weightlifting, decided to ban the Russian Weightlifting Federation from having Athletes and Technical Officials participate in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Lifting is scheduled to start in just over a week.
That means there will be no Russian weightlifters or weightlifting officials participating in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
An excerpt from the IWF’s published decision is embedded below:
According to Article 12.4 of the IWF Anti-Doping Policy,
“If any Member Federation or members or officials thereof, by reason of conduct connected with or associated with doping or anti-doping rule violations, brings the sport of weightlifting into disrepute, the IWF Executive Board may, in its discretion, take such action as it deems fit to protect the reputation and integrity of the sport.”
The IWF Executive Board confirmed that the Russian Weightlifting Federation and Russian weightlifters brought the weightlifting sport into disrepute.
The Russian Weightlifting Federation had previously nominated eight athletes for participation in the games. After last week’s IOC announcement, the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) was forced to withdraw Tatiana Kashirina (+75KG) and Anastasia Romanova (69KG) due to previous doping suspensions; both athletes had served and completed their previous suspensions prior to 2016.
The remaining athletes on the Russian roster will also be barred from the competition. These lifters are:
- Tima Turieva (63KG)
- Oleg Chen (69KG)
- Artem Okulov (85KG)
- Adam Maligov (94KG)
- David Bedzhanyan (105KG)
- Ruslan Albegov (+105KG)
The IWF statement also implies more names associated with positive retests from the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games may soon be released.
As of today there are 7 confirmed AAFs for Russian weightlifters from the combined reanalysis process of London and Beijing, while the second wave of Beijing reanalyses is not yet in a stage when the names and countries involved can be publicly disclosed.
*AAFs stands for “Adverse Analytical Findings” in relation to a positive doping test.
USA Weightlifting has released a statement from CEO Phil Andrews commending the IWF board’s actions in response to doping violations that came to light this summer.
USA Weightlifting fully supports the brave and strong action taken by the IWF Executive Board, both in June and July, to protect both the ethics of our sport and clean athletes within our sport, and the pathway they are building towards a clean and level playing field for our sport.
To take the place of the Russian athletes, the IWF has reallocated the 3 woman’s spots and 5 men’s spots to the following National Olympic Committees.
Woman: Albania, Georgia, Moldova
Men: Belgium, Croatia, El Salvador, Mongolia, Serbia