The International Olympic Committee has finally had enough with the weightlifting community and its rampant abuse of steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs.
For years and years now, the IOC has watched as the weightlifting community – at the amateur, semi-professional, professional, national, and international levels, no less – has been rocked time after time by allegations and scandals all involving rampant steroid and performance-enhancing drug abuse.
Athletes at every level of competition have found themselves slapped with multi-year bans and lifetime banishments, coaches have been arrested as part of major international stings by federal organizations, and there have been scientists, medical professionals, and fitness gurus that have been convicted of creating new ways for weightlifters to circumvent performance-enhancing drug testing protocols – all in an effort to beef these weightlifters up, break new world records, and create as unclean and uneven a playing field as humanly possible.
Well, the IOC has finally said enough is enough and they are looking to completely scrub the weightlifting from the Summer Olympic docket in 2024 if things don’t change.
IOC president Thomas Bach has been incredibly vocal about scrubbing weightlifting from competition for a handful of years now, but went so far as to put the weightlifting community on notice during a press release announcing weightlifting’s inclusion in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
In his statement, the IOC President said that while weightlifting has been guaranteed a spot at Tokyo, it’s only been tentatively approved for the 2024 competition – and if the sport doesn’t police itself and clean itself up, it will be taken off of the docket completely and may not be eligible for reinstatement for another eight years after that.
Obviously, we’ve gotten to the point where the “nuclear option” – completely pulling all weightlifting competitions from the Olympics entirely – simply because the weightlifting community in general refuses to let go of its rock solid grip on steroids and performance enhancing drugs.
The IOC is really hammering the IWF (the International Weightlifting Federation) and taking them to task, reducing the quota of weightlifting athletes allowed to compete in Tokyo. This is the first step in putting this organization and the global weightlifting community in general on notice, telling them that if they do not begin to adhere to international standards for performance-enhancing drug testing and give up on this pursuit to create bigger, stronger, faster athletes now through hard work and training but through chemistry and performance-enhancing drugs they simply aren’t going to find themselves a seat at the Olympic table any longer.
This kind of behavior is 100% understandable. After all, the IOC has every reason to be outraged after literally dozens and dozens of weightlifters were retroactively disqualified and stripped of their Olympic medals won at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2012 London Olympics simply because they retroactively failed performance-enhancing drug testing protocols.
98 anti-doping violations were found after reanalysis of the samples provided by athletes, and half of those athletes had meddled in a number of different competitions. We are not talking about small-scale “fooling around” with performance-enhancing drugs in the weightlifting community any longer.
This is a widespread epidemic, and the IOC is going to do everything they can to put their foot down against this kind of abuse, especially since (in their eyes) they feel that none of the other international governing bodies are doing enough to curb this kind of behavior.
Hopefully the athletes that aspire to win Olympic gold will change their ways, but it’s likely that it’s going to take something really, really drastic for the weightlifting community to abandon performance-enhancing drugs before they actually get the message.