Egyptian Weightlifter Mohamed Ihab Announces Retirement

The announcement was made following the Egyptian Weightlifting Federation's doping suspension.

One of Egypt’s most decorated weightlifters, Mohamed Ihab, has announced his retirement from the sport, according to Ahram Online. This news comes just after Egypt’s National Olympic Committee (NOC) announced it has suspended the Egyptian Weightlifting Federation due to doping cases, Inside the Games first reported.

Although Ihab was not one of the weightlifters that tested positive for banned substances, he confirmed decision to retire is because of the recent ban. He told on Tuesday,

I decided to retire after Egypt’s recent ban. My target was to achieve a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics, but it is difficult to lift the ban. There is no reason to continue my career. It isn’t our fault. If a miracle happens and the ban is lifted, I will return immediately.

A week after Ihab announced his retirement, he posted a video on his Instagram suggesting the opposite. He captioned his video, “Tokyo I’m coming ❤.” We’re not entirely sure what this means, but only time will tell.

At the 2016 Rio Olympic Games he brought home a bronze medal in the 77kg weight class for his country with a 361kg total. More recently, he won three medals at the 2018 World Weightlifting Championships as an 81kg athlete: a gold medal for his 173kg snatch, bronze for his 200kg clean & jerk, and silver for his 373kg total.

Here’s what we know about the ban:

Last month Egypt was suspended from international competition for two years, causing them to miss the 2019 International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) World Championships. This was due to seven Egyptian weightlifters testing positive for banned substances. What recently surfaced was five new cases of doping offenses, which have still not been publicly addressed by the IWF despite heavy publicity from the Egyptian media.

Inside the Games released the names of the five new weightlifters who have tested positive:

  • Sarah Ahmed
  • Samar Hussein
  • Salma Farag
  • Moustafa Ibrahim
  • Mohamed Abdelrahman

The Egyptian Federation, led by president Mahmoud Mahgoub, was in the process of appealing the suspension issued last month when these new cases surfaced. If this ban isn’t lifted, Egypt’s weightlifting team will be banned from the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

If Egypt’s appeal is ultimately successful, we will update this story accordingly. But for the time being, the man Ahram Online calls Egypt’s best-ever weightlifter has retired.

Featured image from @mohamed_ehab_youssef Instagram page.