THE ITA PURSUES PROSECUTION OF ANTI-DOPING RULE VIOLATIONS IN WEIGHTLIFTING

Since the last update on its legal activities on behalf of the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF),  the International Testing Agency (ITA) has pursued the investigation and prosecution of anti-doping cases under the IWF Anti-Doping Rules in the scope of the mandate entrusted by the IWF. In this context, the ITA has charged three athletes with anti-doping rule violations; two cases for sample swapping and one for use of prohibited substances.

As follow up on the German ARD documentary “Lord of the Lifters”, the ITA has further investigated the case of Rattikan (Siripuch) Gulnoi and has decided to assert an anti-doping rule violation against her for use of prohibited substance throughout her career. Ms. Gulnoi is currently provisionally suspended, and the proceedings are ongoing. Moreover, following the McLaren report on IWF that was triggered by the ARD documentary, a large number of unprocessed cases of anti-doping rule violations was discovered and handed over to the ITA for investigation. The review of these 146 files discovered in the wake of the McLaren report is progressing and the ITA should be able to complete it and resolve the pending matters by spring 2021.

The IWF began delegating major parts of its anti-doping program to the ITA in early 2019. As of September 2019, the ITA has received the full competence to manage independently IWF’s anti-doping program, including results management and investigation of potential anti-doping rule violations in the sport of weightlifting. The IWF has recently prolonged its agreement with the ITA until the end of 2024.

As a follow up to the World Anti-Doping Agency (“WADA”)’s Intelligence & Investigations report on IWF released last fall, the ITA has received WADA’s case file (“Operation Arrow”) and after review, has decided to assert at this stage anti-doping rule violation for sample swapping against two athletes. Dumitru Captari, (Romania) and Nijat Rahimov (Kazakhstan) have been informed today that the ITA is charging them with an anti-doping rule violation for “Urine Substitution” (Article 2.2 of the IWF Anti-Doping Rules) which would have occurred over a period of time in 2016. The Athletes are provisionally suspended until the resolution of their respective affairs.

The ITA is conducting further investigations based on the abovementioned McLaren report, the intelligence provided by WADA and other intelligence gathered by the ITA itself with a view of bringing forward any anti-doping rule violation against athletes and officials involved in the sport of weightlifting.  

Given the sensitivity of the current investigations, the ITA will not comment further during the ongoing proceedings and will issue regular status updates.