8th June 2018

IWF to defend Tokyo 2020 qualification system from Kazakh challenge

A new qualification system for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics which requires weightlifters to have competed in six International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) sanctioned events between 1 November 2018 and 30 April 2020 has been challenged at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) by the Weightlifting Federation of the Republic of Kazakhstan. ‘The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Qualifying system for weightlifting was approved by the International Olympic Committee, which reduced the overall number of places available at Tokyo 2020 for weightlifters’, read an IWF statement. ‘Under the new system, athletes will have to compete in at least six eligible competitions between 1 November 2018 and 30 April 2020, ensuring there are regularly subjected to the heightened level of doping controls at IWF-sanctioned competitions’.

It is not clear why the Kazakh Federation has launched a challenge to the IWF’s new Olympic qualification. It is one of nine member federations that was sanctioned with a one year suspension from international competition in October last year, due to retests of samples taken during the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympics which resulted in three or more anti-doping rule violations (ADRVs). The IWF’s list of doping sanctions, which dates back to 2003, lists 40 Kazakh weightlifters. In June last year, the IOC threatened weightlifting with explosion from the 2024 Olympics, unless it put in place a plan to address doping.

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