Santo Domingo - The IWF Congress included highlights of the coming major contests, presentations by some of the major barbell companies and some discussion of the IWF's progress in terms of improving communications and marketing, as well as comments on its ongoing fight against doping.
Uesaka barbell announced that it will be introducing a less expensive competition-grade barbell set, and Eleiko confirmed that it always has and always will use the unique Swedish steel that has always distinguished their superb bar.
IWF president Dr. Tamas Ajan described the new IWF offices and the increased capabilities they create for effective communication, as well as new marketing initiatives that count among their successes, like relationships with Adidas and five barbell companies. Helping to spread the sport, Dr. Ajan mentioned that the IWF has donated 216 barbell sets and 190 Adidas outfits to help support weightlifting worldwide.
Among the committee reports, Dr. Bernd Doerr, of the IWF Medical Committee, said that a new testing protocol now has the ability to detect some anabolic steroids eight or ten weeks back, and that this is what led to a rash of additional positive tests coming from this year's Senior Men's and Women's European Weightlifting Championships, and, separately, Dragomir Ciorolsan, a member of the IWF Executive Board, told IronMind® that as a result of their positive tests, the Russian Weightlifting Federation had been fined US$250,000 and the Iranian Weightlifting Federation had been fined US$400,000 and that if the fines were not paid, the entire federation would be expelled from the sport. Cioroslan said that the massive fines might be misinterpreted as an indication that a federation could buy its way out of suspension, but in fact, the underlying concept was to raise the level of the fine beyond the ready capacity of an individual to pay it - forcing the federation to go to its government and thereby directly address the issue.