Samoa Weightlifting Calls for Lifetime Ban for Doping Offenses as Two Turkish Weightlifters Test Positive for Steroids at European Championships

0
643

Samoa Weightlifting Calls for Lifetime Ban for Doping Offenses as Two Turkish weightlifters have received provisional suspensions after positive tests for steroids at the European Championships earlier this year.

According to Samoa Weightlifting Federation they have posted online and said:

” It is sad that we continue to battle against big time cheats in our sport. Even at Junior level. There should be a lifetime ban for doping offenses.”

President of Samoa Weightlifting Federation Tuaopepe Asiata Jerry Wallwork posted a comment,  ” Unbelievable. Junior lifters. What chance do we have.”

Confirmation of the doping violations came from the International Testing Agency (ITA), which carries out all anti-doping procedures for the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF).

The news comes within two days of the European Weightlifting Federation’s (EWF) decision to give Turkey the hosting rights, ahead of three other candidates, for a multinational training camp in August.

Turkey is also due to host the 2024 European Championships in February.

If the two Yerevan cases are proven, one more doping positive in the next year would lead to Turkey being banned outright from Paris 2024, and if it happened this year Turkey’s hosting rights for the European Championships would be under threat.

Hakan Kurnaz, 19, the 81 kilograms junior world champion in 2019, tested positive for methasterone in Yerevan after winning a snatch silver medal at 96kg.

Pelinsu Bayav, 21, a winner at the Nayim Suleymanoglu Tournament in Turkey last December who failed to make a total in the women’s 49kg in Yerevan, also tested positive for methasterone, as well as stanozolol and methyltestosterone.

Two of Turkmenistan’s top lifters, Medine Amanova and Rejepbay Rejepov, tested positive for methasterone this year and have left their country in the same situation as Turkey – one more doping violation away from an Olympic Games ban.

Three other weightlifters have been banned after taking methasterone since 2015, from Syria, Palestine and Uzbekistan, plus a Para-powerlifter from Uzbekistan.

If the two European Championships positive cases against Turkey are proven, and there was a third positive next year the country could be banned from the Paris 2024 Olympics ©Brian Oliver

If the two European Championships positive cases against Turkey are proven, and there was a third positive next year the country could be banned from the Paris 2024 Olympics ©Brian Oliver

Kazakhstan has had seven athletes in three sports banned for doping with methasterone, two from track and field, four from canoeing and one wrestler, who was caught while training in Turkey.

Methasterone, also known as superdrol, is an orally-taken androgenic designer steroid that has been popular in unregulated body-building.

It was designed in the 1990s to circumvent the Anabolic Steroids Act in the United States, which covered named drugs, but became illegal later when the wording of the law was changed to cover “all relevant compounds.”

It has been on the World Anti-Doping Agency banned list for many years.

Turkey’s past doping record includes a controversial case involving alleged collusion with the then IWF President Tamás Aján in an attempt to avoid punishment when 17 athletes tested positive in the last two months of 2012.

The latest three of those cases were closed only recently by the ITA, while proceedings for “tampering to avoid sanctions” against Hasan Akkus, former President of the Turkish Federation, are ongoing two years after he was charged.

Akkus stood down as President of the EWF after being charged in June 2021 and has said that neither he nor the Turkish Federation were at fault.

Proceedings for tampering against sanctions are ongoing against President of the Turkish Weightlifting Federation Hasan Akkus ©Hasan Akkus

Proceedings for tampering against sanctions are ongoing against President of the Turkish Weightlifting Federation Hasan Akkus ©Hasan Akkus

Turkey had 32 doping violations between 2008 and 2021, leading to a cut in its athlete quota to one male and one female at the delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Its male lifter in Tokyo, Muhammed Ozbek, is entered in the IWF Grand Prix here in Havana that starts on Thursday (June 8), a qualifying competition for Paris.

Nuray Levent, who was ninth in the women’s 64kg in Tokyo, has not competed since 2021.

Turkey has very strong state support for its weightlifting teams and for future development.

At the IWF World Youth Championships in Albania in March, Talat Unlu, the National Federation President, said there were 1,000 weightlifters aged under 15 in Turkey, which has seven elite training centres.

Unlike almost all other European countries, Turkey is planning to send maximum teams to the European Youth Championships in Moldova and the Junior Championships in Romania, both next month.

There is a meeting this week of the International Olympic Committee Sport Programme Commission, which is likely to feature a discussion about weightlifting’s status for the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games.