Weightlifting could hand doping control to WADA

Fri Apr 8, 2016 2:27pm EDT
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By Brian Oliver

FORDE, Norway (Reuters) - Weightlifting took a significant step on Friday toward becoming the first sport to hand over control of its governing federation's anti-doping program to WADA, after enduring six months of relentless bad publicity.

The congress of the European Weightlifting Federation (EWF), meeting in Forde, Norway, voted unanimously in favor of a proposal to transfer the sport’s worldwide doping control system to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

The global governing body, the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF), will vote on Europe’s proposal in June.

“Four or five years ago I was laughed at when I suggested this should happen,” said Christian Baumgartner, the German scientist, and president of his nation’s weightlifting federation, who proposed the change.

“There was not enough funding at WADA and there was no political will.”

Recent revelations of systemic cheating in a range of sports prompted the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to announce last December that it was in favor of making anti-doping independent of all Olympic sports.

If doping control was handed over to WADA then the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), sport's highest court, would be given the task of imposing sanctions on those who fail tests.

"Weightlifting is leading the way in this respect,” said Baumgartner. “I did not imagine, a few years ago, that I would be saying that.   Continued...