The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) is finding it hard to tackle doping problems in the sport. IWF officials, however, claim that the anti-doping program of the sport is proving successful despite the recent doping controversy by Nigerian teenager Chika Amalaha.
The 16-year-old Amalaha won a Commonwealth Games gold medal in the under 53 category on July 25. She later tested positive for diuretics and masking agents Amilioride and Hydrochlorothiazide that are used for losing weight. She has been stripped of her gold medal after her 'B' sample also tested positive. In a statement, the Commonwealth Games Federation remarked it has determined that Nigerian weightlifter, Chika Amalaha, has committed an anti-doping rule violation and has fully suspended her from the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. The gold medal is now awarded to Dika Toua of Papua New Guinea with Indian duo Santoshi Matsa and Swati Singh claiming silver and bronze, respectively.
Meanwhile, the International Weightlifting Federation has announced that a full investigation will take place into the athlete's entourage. It added that certainly the athlete's age will be taken into consideration among all the relevant circumstances. In a statement on its website, the IWF said Nigeria was one of the countries under the scope of the IWF for this competition. This was after Commonwealth Games Federation CEO, Mike Hooper, announced that Amalaha has been issued with a notice of disclosure after she returned an adverse analytical finding from an in-competition test on July 25.
It was claimed by IWF's legal counsel Magdolna Trombitas that significant improvement is being made and it is partly a good thing that a doping case has been found since it demonstrates the success of the work they are doing to catch people. Magdolna revealed that the IWF conducted over 2,000 tests each year in 2012 and 2013 and IWF has already conducted 1,240 in 2014, out of which 682 have taken place during competitions and 558 have occurred outside competition. Trombitas added we are trying our best to increase awareness in the African continent and also said that is why the IWF appointed a very well known lady Zakia Bartagi into the IWF Anti-Doping Commission who conducted an Anti-Doping seminar during the African Youth Olympic Games qualification event in Tunisia.
Trombitas also said we produce very good statistics and have always been in the top five international federations in terms of testing and went on to add that if she wanted to interpret the statistics to show how successful we are being, she could do that, but that is not her role. She also remarked her role is to protect the sport and clean athletes and no matter how many bad articles there are with people questioning weightlifting, we won't stop because this is how you protect the sport.
A first official meeting of the Independent IWF Anti-Doping Commission was held in Budapest in January. This meeting was chaired by another experienced official Patrick Schamasch, the former medical director of the International Olympic Committee to prepare an action plan for 2014.