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Chief of Russia’s Weightlifting Federation says it might be disbanded

August 07, 18:07 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Russian Sports Minister announced that serious reformations were planned for the national weightlifting federation in the wake of the IWF’s decision to ban all Russian weightlifters from the Olympics
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© Егор Алеев/ТАСС

MOSCOW, August 7. /TASS/. President of Russia’s Weightlifting Federation Sergei Syrtson said on Sunday he does not rule out the federation may be disbanded already at the next election conference.

"Under our charter, we are to hold a conference to decide on the federation’s future. We might be disbanded. Once the current federation no longer exists I may tender resignation," he told journalists.

"We will speak with the teamand a group of persons (from the federation). If need be, I will come forward as a candidate. If no, I won’t," he said, when asked about his possible participation in elections of the federation’s president.

The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) announced on July 29 its decision to ban the whole Russian weightlifting team from the 2016 Olympic Games, which kicked off this week in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro on August 5, due to confirmed Adverse Analytical Findings (AAF) in reanalyzed doping samples of seven Russian athletes from the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics, hosted by Beijing and London respectively.

According to the IWF, a total of seven confirmed AAFs for Russian weightlifters from the combined reanalysis process of London and Beijing.

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko announced later that serious reformations were planned for the national weightlifting federation in the wake of the IWF’s decision to ban all Russian weightlifters from the 2016 Summer Olympics.

The World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) Independent Commission, chaired by Canadian law professor, Richard McLaren, released a report on July 18 on the results of its probe into the accusations of doping and manipulation of tests by Russian athletes and officials at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games.

According to the details, the commission claimed it had found evidence that Russia’s Sports Ministry and the Center for the Training of Russian National Teams and the Federal Security Service had covered up a doping program in Russian sports.

The report from WADA’s Commission stated in particular that the commission’s investigation registered a total of 643 cases of Disappearing Positive Test Results in Russia between 2012 and 2015 involving athletes from 30 sports.

Following the commission’s report, WADA recommended the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and all international sports federations ban Russian athletes from all international sports competitions, including Rio 2016.

After a conference call by its Executive Board on July 24, the IOC urged international federations for winter sports events to suspend preparations for major competitions in Russia. The motion will be in effect until December 31, 2016 and may be reviewed at a December session of the IOC Executive Board.

IOC President Thomas Bach, however, announced on July 24 that Russian athletes, with the exception of field and track competitors, were allowed to participate in the 2016 Summer Olympics based on individual approval of each respective international sports federation or association.

He made the statement after a teleconference of the IOC Executive Board, which, however, ruled than no Russian athlete, who had been previously sanctioned for doping would be allowed to take part in the Rio Olympics, even if they have served the sanction as well as any athlete mentioned in the McLaren report.

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