2017 Weightlifting Championship Officially Underway
The 2017 Weightlifting Championship is officially underway and will be running up until December 5th. The championship is hosted by the Anaheim Convention Centre in Anaheim, California. Nearly 400 athletes will be competing this year: 161 women and 216 men from 72 different countries across the globe.
The sport has made headlines over the last couple of weeks as a result of a number of countries having declined to enter this year’s championships as a result of not having diplomatic relations with the United States of America. Whilst North Korea’s non-attendance is reportedly voluntary, a number of other countries have been denied entry as a result of their nationals having been suspended for doping in the recent past. Some of these countries include Belarus, China, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkey and the Ukraine. These countries are home to many of the world’s top weight-lifters and it is rather unfortunate that many innocent athletes have been banned by default as a result of the actions of a few guilty parties.
Major Crack-Down On Doping
Over half of the athletes competing in the competition will be dope-tested in an attempt by the organisers to begin a new chapter in retaining the sport’s Olympic status after certain decisions were made by the IWF as a result of the major problem of doping within the ranks of the sport.
The International Olympic Committee will begin deliberations soon as to whether the sport will be featured at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, France. President of the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF), Tamas Ajan, has said that the federation accepts that past incidents of doping had been so high that it has become almost impossible to re-include the sport on the Olympic timetable. He also said that the sport would be adopting a hard-line, no-nonsense attitude towards the wrongdoers in this department, going forward. Samples tested during the 2008 and 2012 Olympics revealed that 43 of the countries guilty of the offense of doping were from the Soviet Union.
What’s worse, some countries have been accused of state sponsored doping. Russia and China are among those affected by these allegations.
It was announced in September that a total of nine countries, including Turkey, would be serving a one year suspension as a result of having tested positive during the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. Russia was banned from the Rio 2016 Games for repeated doping offenses.
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