IWF: Olympic Quota Reductions Confirmed for Vietnam, Colombia and Turkey

(ATR) International Weightlifting Federation releases final list of qualifiers for Tokyo Olympics

(ATR) Quota reductions imposed on the Weightlifting Federations of Colombia, Vietnam and Turkey for the Tokyo Olympic Games tournament for anti-doping rule violations were confirmed on Tuesday.

In separate statements released by the International Testing Agency (ITA) and the International Weightlifting Federation, the imposition of these measures by the IWF Independent Sanctioning Panel was revealed.

The final dispositions against these federations, although announced Tuesday, were finalized on July 5 when the qualification of weightlifters, men and women, from the five continents was defined, in view of the Olympic tournament.

The list can be viewed at www.iwf,net after evaluation of all confirmations from National Olympic Committees and Member Federations.

China and the United States are the only federations to fill the eight available spots and the U.S. will play an important role in a possible 10-14 medal haul for the Americas.

In its statement, the IWF reiterated that it reassigned quotas to these three federations "as a consequence of multiple Anti-Doping Rule Violations (ADRVs)" committed by their athletes.

In the case of Turkey, its quotas were reduced to one male and one female, following the ITA investigation report into a doping scandal involving 17 of its athletes who tested positive in the last two months of 2012.

The Turkish Federation has been identified as having reached 32 ADRVs during the period from August 8, 2008 to July 22, 2021.The case will be referred to the Independent Panel for additional sanctions. A decision is expected in the coming weeks.

Because of this scandal, the president of the Turkish Federation, Hassan Akkus, has been accused of altering the result management. Akkus was recently forced to resign from the presidency of the European Federation.

The Vietnam Federation case concerns four athletes who tested positive for banned steroids and were respectively sanctioned with a four-year period of ineligibility.

The ADRVs of the Vietnamese competitors were committed during the Tokyo qualification period (November 1, 2018 to July 22, 2021). The Independent Sanctioning Panel upheld the sanction to withdraw six of the eight available slots and left Vietnam with a quota of one male and one female.

This decision of the Independent Panel can be appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

COLOMBIA CASE

As for Colombia there were three weightlifters who tested positive for the banned steroid Boldenone and its metabolite on January 20, 2020.

According to the award of the Anti-Doping Division of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS ADD) of June 10, 2021, in which the ITA represented the IWF, the athletes were found to have committed ADRVs and were sanctioned with a period of ineligibility of 4 years. CAS ADD did not accept that the prohibited substances came from meat contamination.

The Colombian athletes have not appealed the decision to CAS.

A sports source in that country declined to comment to Around the Rings whether those athletes will definitely not proceed with the appeal as the Colombian Federation (FCLP) itself had advanced. "That is a matter that is in the hands of the lawyers," he said.

The FCLP was facing consequences as the doping violations were committed during a calendar year as well as during the Tokyo qualification period.

The FCLP did not contest the violations and accepted the following consequences, according to ITA:

Withdrawal of five of the eight quotas for the Tokyo Olympic Games leaves Colombia with two men's and one woman's places.

For the duration of one year (from June 29, 2021 until June 29, 2022) Colombia loses the right to organize Events, Congresses, and meetings of the IWF Executive Board, meetings of IWF Commissions and Committees (if the right to organize such an event taking place during the sanction period has been assigned to the Member Federation prior to the notification of the sanction, the fact will be considered revoked).

Other sanctions include exclusion from participating in the IWF Congress with voting rights; withdrawal of the right to submit proposals for inclusion in the IWF Congress Agenda and withdrawal of the right to participate in and benefit from the IWF development program, in addition to education and anti-doping seminars.

The FCLP must ensure that its athletes attend two anti-doping education sessions organized by the ITA (in Spanish) within the next 12 months and assume, if any, the costs related to the ITA and to ensure that athletes are available.

In its statement today, the ITA clarified that no fine will be imposed on the FCLP given the cost savings of this settlement procedure and the absence of an appeal procedure.

It further disclosed that FCLP has agreed to waive all rights or claims for damages within the scope of this proceeding.

ITA made it clear that since the FCLP has accepted the consequences of the infringements, "the decision of the Independent Panel cannot be appealed to CAS".

A Colombian source told ATR that the sanctions will not affect the weightlifting tournament of the First Pan American Junior Games in Cali next November "because that competition corresponds to Panam Sports".

The measures will also not affect the Junior Pan American Championships to be held in the Colombian city of Manizales in the coming days.

In a press release on Tuesday, the FCLP ratified that after these decisions of the Independent Sanctioning Panel, Colombia will participate in the Tokyo Olympic Games and will be able to participate in the qualifying process for Paris 2024.

Colombia announced that Mercedes Perez, Luis Javier Mosquera and Santiago Rodallegas will be the three athletes who will travel to Tokyo.

Written and reported by Miguel Hernandez

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