The 2017 IWF World Weightlifting Championships -- set to take place in Anaheim, California, beginning in late November -- may lose two powerhouse weightlifting nations and more.
According to Brian Oliver of insidethegames, China and Russia, along with seven other countries, have been banned from competing in the year's biggest competition.
The article further reports that a three-person commission has been established to communicate with IWF's board later this month regarding the findings, which allege that between three and 10 athletes in each of the nine countries tested positive in the retesting of the 2008 and 2012 Olympics in Beijing and London, respectively.
The other countries potentially facing a ban are Kazakhstan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Moldova, Ukraine, and Turkey.
"Simply applying a sanction will not solve the cultural problem," said Attila Adamfi, director general of IWF, to insidethegames. "I don't say they should not be punished, but it's equally important to make sure that their current system is changed, and to motivate them to show meaningful anti-doping activity. We would like to make sure that their involvement and commitment guarantees that the same problem will not arise again and that they don't come back with same people, the same system."
[tweet url="https://twitter.com/USsportscouncil/status/905855011606769664" hide_media="0" hide_thread="1"]
To further complicate matters, Russian news agency TASS responded by dismissing the claims. TASS claims to have spoken with an IWF spokesperson, who allegedly said the following:
"It was not a statement made by the International Weightlifting Federation, it was an article. If there is any official development or a decision it will be communicated to the Russian Weightlifting Federation directly."
The apparent decision breaks a few days after a statement released by the IWF announcing the members of the newly created Clean Sport Commission, which, per the announcement, is "tasked to advise the Executive Board on further improvements of the IWF Anti-Doping program.
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