September 15, 2017 / 6:48 PM / 2 years ago

Olympics: Doping-tainted weightlifting must reform or risk 2024 Games spot

LIMA (Reuters) - Weightlifting will have to pass several hurdles to prove it is doping-free or it risks losing its established Olympic spot for the Paris 2024 Games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Friday.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach attends the 131st IOC session in Lima, Peru September 13, 2017. REUTERS/Mariana Bazo

The IOC had said in July that the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) needed to provide a satisfactory report by December on how it plans to tackle the problem of doping in the sport.

It will now be monitored by the IOC and the World Anti-Doping Agency past December, until both organizations are satisfied that changes have been made, the Olympic organization said.

“If weightlifting stays compliant with the WADA code then we proceed with this formula for Paris 2024. If it is declared non-compliant this will be a totally different situation,” IOC President Thomas Bach said at the body’s session meeting in Lima.

“This is the idea behind this formula concerning weightlifting, that the decision to include them (for Paris) is subject to the compliance with the WADA code.”

Around half of the 106 positive tests that emerged from re-tests conducted by the IOC in the past two years of samples from the 2008 and 2012 Games in Beijing and London, came from weightlifters.

The sport, along with athletics, represented more than 80 percent of the positive cases from those re-tests, IOC member Denis Oswald said on Friday.

He said 75 medals had been stripped from athletes across many sports from those two Games after re-testing 1,100 samples in total.

In one case, the top eight weightlifters in a competition tested positive, Oswald said, without providing further details.

“We have made it very clear,” IOC Vice President John Coates said. “We will continue to monitor this. This will not just be an IOC Executive Board monitoring.”

“(WADA) will be involved with us to make sure we monitor implementation of any actions the IWF proposes to us.”

The IWF, run by 78-year-old Tamas Ajan, who is in his fifth term, has previously taken action to try to eradicate doping from the sport.

Russia was banned from the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro by the IWF for “bringing weightlifting into disrepute”, after a series of positive tests and several other countries are also facing potential bans.

Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Christian Radnedge and Toby Davis

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