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World Weightlifting Body Suspends Nine Countries For Doping Violations


All the suspended countries had at least three doping offenses resulting from the retesting of samples from the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. (illustrative photo)

The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) has suspended nine countries -- including Russia and China -- from competition for one year in a bid to combat rampant doping in the sport.

At a meeting in Budapest on September 29, the IWF also suspended Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Turkey, and Ukraine – all countries with at least three doping offenses resulting from the retesting of samples from the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.

"We have made it clear that the incidence of doping in some areas is totally unacceptable and that our members have a responsibility to ensure clean sport in their countries," IWF President Tamas Ajan said.

The suspensions will dramatically affect the world championships to be held in the United States from November 29 through December 6.

In July, the International Olympic Committee told the IWF to do more to fight doping or the sport could be dropped from the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. The IOC demanded the IWF submit a report on its proposed antidoping action plan by December.

Maksim Agapitov, head of the Russian Weightlifting Federation, told the TASS news agency that his organization was being punished "for the mistakes of former management."

"We have done a lot and this has been highly praised," he said. "Our past is being punished -- not us. We stand tall and create the future."

Weightlifting registered more than 50 failed tests from the sample retesting, more than any other sport except athletics, which has many more participants. In the men's 94-kilogram category from 2012, seven lifters failed the retest, meaning that the original ninth-place finisher was awarded the bronze medal.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and TASS
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