IWF Congress

Doha, Qatar - Running a little over five hours, the IWF Congress today might have set a record for length, but the meeting was all business for the sport that is celebrating its 100th birthday.

IWF President Dr. Tamas Ajan wasted no time discussing the importance of weightlifting maintaining pressure to be clean, and while he said it might be understandable that a young athlete feeling pressure to produce top results might try to use a banned substance, it is the leaders of the sport who must be held responsible, and they must shoulder a commitment to rid the sport of drugs. Describing doping as "the main menace of our sport," Dr. Ajan urged the delegates to continue their efforts to clean up the sport in what he said was a "common fight," and essential to preserve weightlifting's place in the Olympic program.

As a minor sport with a history of embarrassing positives, weightlifting has also been singled out for praise by IOC leaders for its progress, and for taking such measures as pretesting its competitors at the Athens Olympics - the only sport that did this.

Highlights of the Congress included the following:

1. Alain Luzenfichter, Dr. Marta Baroga and Philippe Saint-Cyr were honored for their contributions to the sport.
2. IWF 1st Vice President Sam Coffa spoke in favor of the newly-adopted one-kilo rule, which has been facing some criticism, although it also has many advocates.
3. In the period from January 1 to November 3, a total of 1097 drug tests have been conducted in the sport, with a total of 28 positives, some of which are still under review.
4. In an effort to improve the selection process, qualifications for the 2012 Olympics will include the 2009, 2010 and the 2011 World Championships, instead of just using the results from the 2011 World Championships.

Competition begins tomorrow.

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