The Russia’s weightlifting team was all set to participate in the 2016 Summer Olympics from 5 to 21 August, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, but the plans soon turned into a fiasco. This year it would have been Russia’s sixth consecutive appearance at the Summer Olympics as an independent nation.
All the participants in the Weightlifting team were accused of doping. An independent investigation was commissioned by World Anti-Doping Agency on On 18 July 2016. It reported that Russia’s Federal Security Service and Ministry of Sport had operated a “state-dictated” system to implement an extensive doping program and then attempted to cover up positive samples.
Building on this report, the International Olympics Committee decided to ban Russia from the Summer Olympics in an emergency meeting. The ban also applied to Russia’s technical official for the Rio Games.
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The International Weightlifting Federation saw this disgraceful incident as an attack on the integrity of the sport. IWF said
The integrity of the weightlifting sport has been seriously damaged on multiple times and levels by the Russians.
IWF regarded this incident as “extremely shocking and disappointing” and said that the ban on Russia was an “appropriate sanction” to “preserve the status of the sport”.
Further justifying its allegations against Russia, IWF stated the retested samples of seven Russian weightlifters who took part in the 2008 Beijing Olympics or 2012 London Olympics showed up positive. For the earlier doping offenses, two female weightlifters , Tatiana Kashirina and Anastasiia Romanova were withdrawn by the Russian federation.
The void created for the eight competition spots have been offered to other countries but is it skeptical if all the spots will be filled well before time. For men’s competition, the following five countries were offered — Belarus, Croatia, El Salvador, Mongolia, and Serbia. While for the women’s competition, Albania, Georgia and Moldova were offered.
The integrity Weightlifting sport has been impaired at numerous incidents in the past.The “disappearing positive methodology system” has been used by Russia to mask the doping results several times. 31 out of the 98 positive tests samples of 2008 or 2012 Olympics have been by weightlifters. Thereby, IWF has toughened the testing and sanctions.
A deserving player invests colossal amounts of dedication and perseverance in order to reach a prestigious platform like Olympics. Therefore, adulteration in results and rewards should never be tolerated. The timely action taken by IWF against the Russian Weightlifting team is commendable.
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