January 1 - Former Olympic and world champion Hossein Rezazadeh (pictured), the newly-elected caretaker leader of the Iran Weightlifting Federation (IWF), has promised to stamp out doping in the country.

Rezazadeh, who has replaced Bahram Afsharzadeh, will be caretaker until a new President is elected for the IWF following the appointment by the Iran Physical Education Organisation President Ali Saeidlu.

The new appointment came after Afsharzadeh decided to suspend Iran's national team, coached by Rezazadeh, following a poor performance at the World Championships.

The 2000 and 2004 Olympics champion was appointed as the manager and head coach of Iran's national weightlifting team a few months after he ended his weightlifting career due to an injury in July 2008.

But his reign was marred by several doping cases involving Iranian weightlifters, including the Asian junior champion Mohsen Davoudi and triple Asian Championship gold medalist Rashid Sharifi.

Earlier in 2007, 11 Iranian weightlifters were banned for doping.

The 31-year-old, nicknamed "The Iranian Hercules", won Olympic gold medals in the +105 kilogram category in Sydney in 2000 and Athens in 2004 and also claimed four world titles.

He has set himself a double target of fighting the battle against doping and also helping Iran regain its position as one of the sport's leading nations.

Rezazadeh said: "At first, we have to raise the knowledge of our weightlifters about doping substances.

"Iran will be one of the powerhouses soon.

"Hopefully, all experts will help me bring Iran's weightlifting back into contention."