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IWF’s strong stance against doping in weightlifting

The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) wholeheartedly welcomes the recent decision from the Anti-Doping Division of the Court of Arbitration (CAS ADD) regarding Kazakh weightlifter, Nijat Rahimov. He was found to have committed several Anti-Doping Rule Violations (ADRVs) in 2016 and has now been sanctioned for a period of ineligibility of eight years and all competitive results since 15 March 2016 have been disqualified. Furthermore, the IWF would like to stress its unequivocal commitment to tackling doping and the use of prohibited substances and methods in weightlifting.

While there have been mistakes made in the past, which the IWF acknowledges, the organisation has taken strong and decisive steps to ensure that the situation in weightlifting has dramatically improved. Since 2019, the IWF has delegated its entire anti-doping program to the International Testing Agency (ITA) making it entirely independent of the IWF. In its scope, the ITA performs more than 2300 doping tests per year in weightlifting for the IWF.

This week the International Testing Agency (ITA) confirmed to the IWF that regarding the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 there have been no positive tests in weightlifting so far.

“Sadly, in the past, we had a culture of doping. The IWF Executive Board recognises this problem and over the last three years we have invested millions of dollars into our anti-doping testing and clean sport development to ensure that weightlifting is clean. We do not accept any form of doping in our sport, and we are doing everything we can to chase dopers out.  They are not welcome in the sport.” remarked IWF Interim President Dr. Michael Irani.

IWF General Secretary Mohammed Jaloud added: “We have worked tirelessly to introduce and maintain full compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code for weightlifting, culminating in the fact that at the Olympic Games in Tokyo we had zero doping cases. We are very proud of this; it is our new standard, and we will continue to fight to keep our sport clean so athletes can be sure that when they compete against others it’s a level playing field.”

In July 2019, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) performed a complete audit on the IWF’s anti-doping program. WADA has confirmed that IWF is fully compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code and its standards. 

Furthermore, the ITA also confirmed that since the delegation of the IWF anti-doping program to the ITA, considerable effort has been made to maintain IWF’s compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code by implementing strong anti-doping processes and policies and reforming IWF’s anti-doping bodies (eg the Independent Member Federation Sanctioning Panel, IWF Anti-Doping Commission and Independent Monitoring Group).

“We have come a long way from the terrible doping problems we faced in our sport but we cannot be complacent, we must continue the improvement in our anti-doping program and remain vigilant to ensure that athletes can be happy to compete in our competitions drug free” concluded Jaloud.

For any question or to get more information about the IWF’s commitment to clean sport please contact