The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) Executive Board decided to suspend the nine countries that produced three or more doping violations as part of the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) reanalysis testing from last year. The suspension will be for one year.
The countries to be suspended are Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, China, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine.
The unanimous decision was made while the Executive Board met in Romania. The Board is drafting their rationale behind the decisions and will be sent to the IWF’s Member Federations. The one-year suspension is to take effect in mid-October.
The decision means that these countries will not be travelling to the United States next month to compete in the 2017 IWF World Championships.
The IWF is also preparing for its presentation to the IOC later this year to show that Weightlifting is taking anti-doping seriously and that the federation is working to clean up the sport that has been riddled by positive drug tests throughout the years. The question is will the one-year suspensions be enough of a punishment for the nine countries given that a four-year ban was on the table.