Powerlifting cheats targeted

2008-09-12 11:26
Beijing Paralympic Games

Beijing - The International Paralympic Committee vowed on Friday to continue its drive to rid powerlifting of drug cheats following the expulsions of three weightlifters so far from the Beijing Games.

Facourou Sissoko of Mali, Ukrainian Liudmyla Osmanova, and Naveed Ahmed Butt of Pakistan all failed pre-competition tests and have been slapped with two-year bans.

Elsewhere at the Games, German wheelchair basketballer Ahmet Coskun was kicked out after testing positive for a banned drug that he said was in a hair-loss treatment, bringing the total sent home from Beijing to four.

"It's our aim to strengthen all the educational efforts to make sure that powerlifting becomes a fair sport in the Paralympics," IPC medical and scientific director Peter Van de Vliet said.

"It's obviously not a battle we can do on our own. It's something we need to do jointly with all parties involved, including the athletes."

Van de Vliet said the IPC makes a point of specifically targeting powerlifting due to past doping violations in the sport and said the body remains committed to clamping down on cheats.

He said doping was especially problematic in powerlifting because of the pure strength required to succeed.

Some athletes also may abuse weight-loss substances to drop into a lower weight class, giving them a strength advantage over competitors in that class.

Another problem is the fitness club and body-building culture in which performance-enhancing substances are commonly taken, he said.

"The educational message that we want to spread continuously is that you're responsible for what you take in your body and the source of what you take needs to be checked," he said.

He said the use of illegal drugs among Paralympians was a sign athletes were driving for better performances and that the IPC was stepping up testing in response.

"I'm happy to see the Paralympics generally is achieving the standard of elite sport," he said.

But he added: "In elite sport you can't avoid people trying to optimise their achievement in going to substances which are not in accordance with fair practice."

A total of 641 tests had been carried out at the Games, both in and out of competition, by the end of Thursday.

At the Athens Games in 2004, a total of 680 doping tests were conducted, resulting in 10 violations.

Before the Games started, IPC president Philip Craven said he was hoping for a "totally clean" Paralympics but he acknowledged the doping problems associated with powerlifting.

The Beijing Paralympics, involving more than 4 000 athletes, runs until September 17.


WWE set to take SA by storm

2017-12-11 08:58

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Live scoring

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Springbok coach Allister Coetzee remains defiant, saying he won't resign despite a shambolic two years at the helm. Your thoughts?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.