The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) has held an Anti-Doping Seminar in order to spread information on drug issues to athletes and their entourages.
Held during the Russian Federation President’s Cup, an IWF Grand Prix event, the seminar, titled “Enough is Enough”, aimed to provide key education to countries who are deemed to have serious doping problems.
In particular, nations whose athletes had provided positive drugs tests at the 2015 IWF World championships in Houston were asked to attend the seminar, which was led by IWF Anti-Doping Commission chairman Patrick Schamasch.
A total of 24 adverse analytical findings were announced by the IWF from the Championships, with the Azerbaijan team having six.
Schamasch explained the necessity of taking urgent steps to stop doping rule violations in weightlifting all over the world, and gave particular focus to tackling issues in former Eastern bloc countries.
It follows Bulgaria receiving a ban from the Rio 2016 Olympic Games following 11 positive doping cases during the qualification period.
Last month, insidethegames revealed that Russia could also lose at least one quota place at Rio 2016.
Under the IWF anti-doping policy, the world governing body's Executive Board retains the right to remove one place from a country if four doping failures are registered within the qualification window, while six or more cases can result in two being withdrawn.
Russia’s total could reach eight, meaning two quota spots are removed.
Schamasch also gave detailed information on the modification of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code from 2015, including the list of prohibited substances and the Athlete Biological Passport.
He discussed the prohibited substance meldonium, the heart-attack drug added to the WADA banned list on January 1, which has had 123 confirmed cases since its addition.
The IWF stated that so far no positive tests for meldonium have been recorded in the sport, claiming that their proactive campaign, which has reminded member federations that the substance was to be banned, has helped.
Schamasch stated that the member federation leaders were responsible for regularly spreading information about doping issues to their athletes and officials, whilst expressing that should violations fail to decrease in the very near future, stricter sanctions will be needed and immediately enforced.
The IWF’s director general, Attila Adamfi, who was among those at the seminar titled “Enough is Enough”, claimed that the number of doping control tests is much higher than in most of the other International Federations.
Prevention and education was viewed as key to tackling the issues, with the IWF stating that the Continental Weightlifting Federations are obliged to hold Anti-Doping seminars with their financial support to help tackle doping issues.