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IWF Given December Deadline To Address Doping Problems

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has warned the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) to address doping problems of the sport by this December or risk missing the 2024 Summer Olympic Games.

IOC President Thomas Bach also announced that all 28 core sports due to appear on the program at Tokyo 2020, including golf and rugby sevens introduced at Rio 2016 will remain for 2024. Bach added all must remain compliant with the Olympic Charter and the World Anti-Doping Code.

The IOC President said the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) has until December 2017 to deliver a satisfactory report to the IOC on how they will address the massive doping problem this sport is facing. Bach commented that we have sent a strong signal to weightlifting by reducing the quota for athletes for Tokyo 2020. It was recently announced that weightlifting had lost 64 quota places for Tokyo 2020. This means a reduced total of 196 weightlifters will now appear in Tokyo. The International Olympic Committee also rejected a proposal to add an eighth women's bodyweight category and instead removed one male one. The International Weightlifting Federation now has to decide which male category this will be.

In the retesting of samples from the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games in Beijing and London, 49 weightlifters have so far been caught for doping. Of this, 30 were medalists - 11 women and five men at Beijing 2008, plus 10 women, and four men from London 2012. Ninth place finisher Tomasz Zielinski of Poland has risen to third place in the men's under 94 kilograms category in the British capital after seven failures by athletes who finished in front of him. Zielinski was sent home from the Rio Olympics after failing a drugs test.

A total of nine countries (Kazakhstan, Belarus, Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Turkey, Ukraine, China, and Moldova) that have recorded three or more positives following the retests conducted by the International Olympic Committee are likely to receive a year suspension from all IWF events, once a Court of Arbitration for Sport-mediated process is completed.

In response to the IOC announcement, the International Weightlifting Federation said on its website that International Olympic Committee Program Commission compiled the requests received from several International Federations and made a proposal presented to the IOC Executive Board. It was also remarked that the decision marks a key milestone in the evolution of the Olympic Program by introducing youth-focused innovation, increasing gender equality, and reducing the overall size of the Games.

The IWF website also reads that weightlifting was confirmed as one of the 28 sports on the program of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. It was also disclosed that the decision of the IOC Executive Board was to accept seven women and seven men bodyweight categories in order to reach gender equality following the principles set by Agenda 2020 in maximizing events. It was also commented that gender equality was reached by obtaining an additional event: six women and six men at the 2018 Buenos Aires Youth Olympic Games.

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Albert Wolfgang
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