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IWF/ITA Anti-Doping Education Seminar: “We are here to protect the athletes’ career”

Athletes and coaches gathered this morning in the competition venue of the IWF World Junior Championships, taking place in Guadalajara (MEX), for the IWF Anti-Doping Education Seminar, organised in partnership with the International Testing Agency (ITA). Lectured by ITA Ambassador Thais Cevada, from Brazil, and a former international-level athlete in Artistic Gymnastics, this initiative is aimed at briefing the lifters and their respective entourage about the anti-doping main regulations and procedures.

Around 90 attentive spectators recalled their knowledge of the definition of an anti-doping rule violation, the prohibited substance list, the principle of strict liability, the importance of checking the eventual medicines athletes are taking, the danger of supplements, and the possibilities of reporting any past, present or future violation or suspect behaviour.

“This is a fundamental cause for the sport of weightlifting. We are spending around 12 million US dollars each Olympic cycle in the fight against doping. This is a huge investment, which could otherwise be used for the direct benefit of our athletes and of our national federations,” considered Antonio Urso, the IWF Secretary General in his introductory words to the attendants.

Antonio Urso, IWF Secretary General

“But the necessary change of culture is progressively and successfully taking place. At the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, we had no positive cases, at the Bogota 2022 World Championships, we had only one, and at the 2023 IWF showcase in Riyadh, all the cases were negative. This proves that our strategy is functioning and producing practical effects,” also declared Mr Urso. “But we must continue being vigilant in this very sensitive topic. For that, I count on your co-operation and support. Working hand in hand with us, the ITA has played an essential role in this merciless fight, and we are very grateful for that!” concluded the IWF Secretary General.

Also with a PhD in neurosciences and acting as a DCO (Doping Control Officer) at sports events, Thais Cevada then summarised the practices and procedures in this field. “This is particularly important for this age group. They should be given the priority for this kind of seminar. The earlier they begin their education on this topic, the better it is,” confessed Cevada after the conclusion of the seminar. “Our goal is quite obvious: we are here to protect their career, but also to safeguard their health – as it must be understood that doping has not only effects on the sports results and performances, it profoundly affects the health of the athletes, sometimes in an irreversible way”.

Thais Cevada, ITA Ambassador

Conducted in both English and Spanish by the Brazilian expert, the level of interaction was quite good and the one-hour seminar was punctuated by relevant questions and comments. Cevada will remain in Guadalajara to animate the IWF/ITA educational booth, located in the competition venue and open until this Sunday. There, athletes and coaches can have the opportunity to get additional information or test their knowledge on interesting quizzes.

This is the third seminar held by the IWF in 2023, after similar gatherings at the World Youth Championships in March (in Durres, Albania) and at the World Championships in September (in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia).

IWF Communications

Photos by Giorgio Scala/Deepbluemedia