Press releases 4th April 2020

IMFSP issues decisions on Thai and Malaysian Weightlifting Federations

Following hearings and the careful consideration of relevant evidence, the Independent Member Federation Sanctions Panel (IMFSP) has imposed disciplinary sanctions on the Thai Amateur Weightlifting Association and Malaysian Weightlifting Federation. The IMFSP, which was approved by the IWF Executive Board in November 2018, has the sole authority to impose sanctions on Member Federations, in line with Article 12 of the IWF Anti-Doping Policy.  That Policy was approved by the IWF Executive Board in November 2017, in order to ensure greater independence and transparency.

Thai Amateur Weightlifting Association (TAWA)

The IMFSP has imposed the following sanctions on the Thai Amateur Weightlifting Association (TAWA):

• TAWA minor athletes (under the age of 18) and their ASP are prohibited from participating in international competitions for an additional five months following the next IWF event which takes place. All other TAWA athletes and ASP are prohibited from participating in international competitions for an additional 11 months following the next IWF event which takes place. (Based on TAWA’s voluntary undertaking, TAWA athletes and their ASP have already been suspended since 7 March 2019.  The additional sanction periods imposed by the IMFSP will not start to run during the period when all IWF events are cancelled or postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic).

• TAWA athletes shall not compete in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games (regardless of the change of date).

• The Membership status of TAWA is suspended for a period of three years through to 1 April 2023 (TAWA officials are suspended for two years and are not eligible to be appointed to any IWF position so long as TAWA remains suspended.) The three-year suspension of TAWA will be reviewed and may be lifted on or after 7 March 2022 if TAWA can demonstrate it has met pre-defined criteria.

• The fine imposed on TAWA is USD 200,000.00. Half of it is imposed as a penalty, the remainder shall be used by IWF to offset IWF costs already incurred in connection with the TAWA matter and for additional IWF testing of TAWA athletes.

TAWA was officially informed of the decision by the IMFSP on 1 April 2020 and has 21 days from this date to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Malaysian Weightlifting Federation (MWF)

The IMFSP has imposed the following sanctions on the Malaysian Weightlifting Federation (MWF):

• MWF athletes shall not participate in IWF events for an additional five months following the next IWF event which takes place. (MWF athletes and their ASP were already suspended from IWF events for a period of 11-12 months based on a voluntary suspension imposed by MWF on 30 May 2018.)

• MWF athletes shall not compete in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games (regardless of the change of date).

• MWF is suspended from all IWF activities for a period 12 months through to 1 April 2021. The one-year suspension of MWC will be reviewed and may be lifted as early as 1 October 2020 if MWF can demonstrate it has met pre-defined criteria.

The MWF was officially informed of the decision by the IMFSP on 1 April 2020 and has 21 days from this date to appeal to CAS.

No further comment will be made on these decisions until the period of appeal has concluded. The IWF has a zero-tolerance policy on doping and fully supports disciplinary action being taken to ensure a level playing field for all athletes. However, the IWF remains committed to working with all Member Federations to provide comprehensive anti-doping education which promotes attitudinal and cultural change.

• This media release was published by the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) on 4 April 2020. Click here for the original.

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