The international governing body for weightlifting has agreed to turn over the responsibility of drug testing to the International Testing Agency.
The sport of weightlifting has been fully reinstated as an Olympic sport according to an announcement by the International Olympic Committee Executive Board on March 26, 2019. Weightlifting had been at risk of being dropped from the Olympics due to the rampant doping in the sport.
Weightlifting was effectively put on probation with a “conditional inclusion” status for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics after dozens of weightlifting athletes were found to have used anabolic steroids during retesting of stored urine samples from the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2012 London Olympics. A total of 55 weightlifters were retroactively disqualified and sanctioned.
The “conditional inclusion” status hinged on the fulfillment of several criteria by the sport’s international governing body, the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF).
This is weightlifting’s last chance to remain an Olympic sport.
One of the most significant criteria was the IWF’s agreement to turn over its anti-doping responsibilities to an independent drug testing agency. Towards this end, the IWF finalized an agreement with the Independent Testing Agency (ITA) at the SportAccord World Sport and Business Summitt in Gold Coast, Australia on May 7, 2019.
The ITA is a new anti-doping agency established under the direction of the IOC in June 2018. The ITA offers anti-doping services to International Federations. The ITA is supposed to act as a fully independent entity but few people truly believe it.
The ITA is packed with board members who are also members of the IOC, WADA and/or with other links to sports governance. The very fact that the IOC is forcing some sports federations (like weightlifting) to use the ITA’s services is one example of the self-dealing between the IOC and ITA.
IWF director general Attila Adamfi warned its 193 member federations that this was the sports’ last chance to remain an Olympic sport. It can no longer be business as usual when it comes to steroids in weightlifting. The drug culture must change.
“[T]he IOC has made it crystal clear that this is weightlifting’s ‘last chance’, Adamfi told the member federations. “Should the sport continue to produce positive cases, its consequences will be much more serious and irrevocable.
“Therefore, we are turning to you, our national federations, with this warning that you must do everything in your power to strictly adhere to the IWF’s Anti-Doping Policy and avoid the occurrence of ADRVs among your country’s weightlifters.
“We count on your cooperation and integrity.”
Oliver, B. (May 26, 2019). Doping fight not ended at all, admits International Weightlifting Federation President Ajan. Retrieved from insidethegames.biz/articles/1079719/doping-fight-not-ended-at-all-admits-international-weightlifting-federation-president-ajan