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Romanian Weightlifting Federation Suspended Ahead of Tokyo Olympic Games

An IWF press release has confirmed the one-year provisional suspension of the Federatia Romana de Haltere (FRH), Romania’s national weightlifting federation, after the International Testing Agency (ITA) reported multiple Anti-Doping Rule Violations (ADRVs) at the 2012 Olympic Games.

Five retroactive ADRVs were reported to the IWF by the ITA in a February 23 referral after the presence of anabolic steroids were found in samples gathered from the following athletes:

Florin Croitoru: (i) Dehydrochlormethyltestosterone metabolites; (ii) Metenolone metabolites; (iii) Stanozolol metabolites.

Gabriel Sincraian: (i) Stanozolol metabolites; (ii) Metenolone metabolites. (athlete pictured below)

Razvan Martin: (i) Stanozol metabolites; (ii) Dehydrochlormethyltestosterone metabolite; (iii) Metenolone metabolites.

Roxana Cocos: (i) Stanozolol metabolites; (ii) Metenolone metabolites.

Marius Danciu: (i) Methandienone.

Per Article 12.3.1 of the IWF Anti-Doping Rules, member federations are subject to suspension, fines, and/or may have other rights withdrawn if athletes, officials, or other personnel are found to have committed ADRVs.

Romania joins several other countries impacted by the so-called 2016 “Tbilisi Decision” where the IWF agreed to impose a one-year sanction on countries who returned three or more retroactive positives from either Beijing or London in an attempt to curb drug abuse in the sport. Others impacted by this decision include the federations of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, China, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Russia, Turkey, and Ukraine.

Per a recent Tokyo 2020 Rankings Qualification List, Romania only qualified to send one female weightlifter to the Games, 64kg athlete Loredana Toma, who placed third at the 2019 IWF World Weightlifting Championships in Pattaya, Thailand. Toma was previously considered a potential medalist for Romania in Tokyo.

The FRH is eligible for a conditional removal of the suspension effective as early as February 15th, 2022, provided they meet a litany of criteria established by the IWF, including a public commitment to changing the culture in their sport, reporting of the whereabouts of their athletes and officials, and a monetary fine.

The IWF’s action against the FRH aligns with their rhetoric regarding how they plan to tackle drug abuse in the sport. On June 11, an additional referral was made by the ITA regarding the Federación Colombiana de Levantamiento de Pesas, Colombia’s governing body for weightlifting, as a consequence for multiple internal violations. Litigation surrounding the case remains ongoing.

Featured image: @gsincraian

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