— Published 8 August 2023

Russians miss out on the Worlds

Another setback for Russian athletes. The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) has confirmed to the TASS agency that Russian competitors have not been accepted for the forthcoming World Championships, scheduled to take place from September 4 to 17 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The international body’s executive committee has approved the presence at the Worlds of a delegation of neutral athletes, comprising 12 weightlifters, seven coaching staff and one technical official. However, they are all Belarusian nationals. Their absence from the 2023 Worlds jeopardizes the Russians’ possible participation in the Paris 2024 Games, as the world event figures prominently in the Olympic qualification route. However, as the IWF points out, a new commission has been set up to examine requests for exceptions to the rules governing qualification for the Games. Russian athletes may apply to this commission if the IOC authorizes them to participate in the Paris 2024 Games under cover of neutrality. As a reminder, on May 12 the IWF sided with the international federations that decided to follow the recommendations of the IOC Executive Board to reinstate Russian and Belarusian athletes, subject to conditions.