ITA REFERS ROMANIAN WEIGHTLIFTING FEDERATION TO BE SANCTIONED BY INDEPENDENT PANEL DUE TO MULTIPLE ANTI-DOPING RULE VIOLATIONS

The International Testing Agency (ITA) asks the International Weightlifting Federations’ (IWF’s) Independent Member Federation Sanctioning Panel to impose sanctions on the Romanian Weightlifting Federation as a consequence of numerous Anti-Doping Rule Violations.

Earlier today, the ITA has informed the Romanian Weightlifting Federation (RWF) that its case was being referred to the IWF’s Independent Member Federation Sanctioning Panel (Independent Panel) to impose sanctions against the RWF as a consequence of multiple Anti-Doping Rule Violations (ADRVs) committed by member athletes of the RWF.

According to the IWF Anti-Doping Rules (Article 12), member federations can be suspended, fined and/or have other rights withdrawn when athletes, officials or athlete support personnel of the member federation are found to have committed ADRVs.  

The Independent Panel is the body in charge of reviewing and adjudicating the member federation’s sanctions. The Independent Panel is comprised of five international legal experts in the field of anti-doping who have been appointed by the IWF in the fall of 2020 upon the ITA’s recommendation. The terms of reference of the Independent Panel have also been renewed as part of additional reforms undertaken by the IWF pertaining to its anti-doping program at the end of 2020.

The ITA has been tasked to refer matters to the Independent Panel in the scope of the full delegation of IWF’s anti-doping program to the ITA.

The RWF’s case is grounded on five ADRVs that were committed in 2012 by five different athletes. The five ADRVs were for the presence of anabolic steroids detected in the athletes’ samples.

Four of the ADRVs were in fact from the four athletes representing the RWF at the London 2012 Summer Olympics, namely Florin Croitoru, Gabriel Sincraian, Razvan Martin and Roxana Cocos. The Adverse Analytical Findings were only reported in 2019 as part of the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC’s) re-analysis program, carried out by the ITA.

The IOC Disciplinary Commission has confirmed the last ADRVs on 23 November 2020 and has disqualified the connected London 2012 results. Florin Croitoru, Gabriel Sincraian and Razvan Martin have since been sanctioned with ineligibility periods by the ITA. The follow-up proceedings for the case of Roxana Cocos are currently being handled by the ITA.

The fifth ADRV concerns Marius Danciu, who had been caught in 2012 and sanctioned by the IWF at the time.

The individual sanctions can be found here.

Pursuant to Article 12 of the IWF Anti-Doping Rules, these circumstances lead to the imposition of sanctions against the RWF, which can go up to two years of suspension and a fine. RWF now has a deadline to file written observations. Upon expiration of the time limit, the Independent Panel will then adjudicate the matter based on ITA’s and RWF’s written submissions, unless exceptional circumstances warrant the holding of a hearing.

Given that the case is underway, the ITA will not comment further during the ongoing proceedings and will issue regular status updates.