KUALA LUMPUR, April 5 — National weightlifters can kiss goodbye to their Olympic dreams after the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) barred Malaysians from competing in the Tokyo Games next year.
According to the official IWF website, www.iwf.net, lifters from Malaysia and Thailand have been banned because of multiple doping offences.
The Thai Amateur Weightlifting Association (TAWA) and the Malaysian Weightlifting Federation (MWF) have also been suspended as IWF members for three years and one year respectively.
The Tokyo Olympics, scheduled to be held this July, have been postponed by a year following the Covid-19 pandemic and will now be held from July 23 to Aug 8 2021.
MWF president Datuk Ayub Rahmat said in a statement that it would study the matter to see whether to appeal against the decision or not.
“The IWF decision is subject to its championships and activities at the international level while national-level competitions and the 2020 Malaysia Games (Sukma) can go on as planned,” he said.
He explained that Malaysia had attended a hearing carried out by the Independent Member Federations Sanctions Panel on March 6 via Skype.
The five-man panel, headed by Richard Young of the United States, then delivered its verdict on April 1.
The IWF suspended MWF from taking part in any of its activities for a year beginning from April 1, 2020, until April 1, 2021, as well as barred all Malaysian weightlifters from competing in next year’s Tokyo Olympic Games.
It also barred Malaysians from taking part in any IWF-sponsored championships and programmes for five months until Sept 1, 2020. This is because the MWF had previously suspended its weightlifters from competing in IWF competitions for a year from May 31, 2018, until May 1 2019.
The one-year suspension, however, could be lifted as early as Oct 4 this year if MWF can show it has met pre-defined criteria. — Bernama