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Weightlifting corruption, doping accusations ‘very serious’ – IOC

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Agence France-Presse

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) described as “very serious and worrying” accusations made by a German broadcaster of corruption and doping cover-ups at the International Weightlifting Federation(IWF).

ARD, who broke the story on Russia’s state doping scandal, claim prominent weightlifters were rarely subject to tests, while some controllers were allegedly taking cash to accept manipulated urine samples.

The ARD programme also cited documents allegedly showing at least $5 million (4.5 million euros) in funding flowing from the IOC to the IWF were transferred into two Swiss accounts, of which only federation president Tamas Ajan had oversight.

“The IOC takes note of the ARD report. The accusations are very serious and worrying,” the IOC said on Monday.

“The IOC wants to clarify that –- contrary to what ARD is claiming –- it was not in possession of ‘most of the documents’ on which the film is based. This applies to the documents regarding the doping statistics and those regarding the alleged financial irregularities.”

Later Monday, the World Anti-Doping Agency said its independent investigations department “is aware of all the allegations” and would continue to look into “potential breaches” of the anti-doping code.

The IWF told AFP it was examining the allegations made in the broadcast whilst Hungary’s anti-doping authority said on Monday it had been “maliciously targeted” in the documentary.

The case is set to feature during the IOC’s executive commission as it meets on Wednesday in Lausanne.

The ARD programme also filmed Thailand’s Olympic bronze medallist Rattikan Gulnoi admitting to using steroids when she was 18 years old — something that could see her stripped of her prize.

WADA in their statement described the allegations of doping of weightlifters in Thailand as “new and of great concern”.

It said it would be following up with the IWF, the Doping Control Agency of Thailand “and other stakeholders to gain a clearer picture” of the situation.