IWF stops Fiji from weightlifting competition

Weightlifting Fiji has withdrawn from the Oceania Championships. Picture: FT FILE

FIJI will not compete in next week’s 2018 Oceania Weightlifting Championships for the senior, junior and youth categories in New Caledonia because of an oversight by Weightlifting Fiji (WF) general secretary Ritesh Ratiram.

This was confirmed by WF in a statement yesterday.

Fiji was to send four athletes to the championship in Noumea.

Ratiram apologised to the athletes saying it was his oversight in the statement.

“International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) has stopped Weightlifting Fiji (WF) and some athletes from New Zealand, Nauru, Papua New Guinea and American Samoa from participating in the Oceania. The championships will start on June 28, 2018,” said the statement.

“This comes after IWF conducted whereabouts monitoring on the final entries submitted in connection with the upcoming Oceania Championships. Any athlete competing in sanctioned IWF competitions needs to let IWF and Oceania Regional Anti-Doping Organisation (ORADO) know where they are going to be, at specific times, so they can perform no-advance notice testing.”

WF said it received the new Anti-Doping Policy on April 5 when the weightlifting competition started at the Commonwealth Games at Gold Coast, Australia.

The policy was not given priority because of the games, the WF annual general meeting on April 29, and the internal problem which saw members of the Levuka-based club boycotting WF activities.

“WF was still in the process of finalising the extended squad between Levuka and Suva weightlifting clubs’ athletes to the Oceania Championships during IWF’s whereabouts information deadline.”
WF said no remainder was also received from IWF.

“WF had resolved to send a small team of four athletes to the Oceania Championships.
“Because the whereabouts information for these athletes was not entered in the monitoring system, IWF on June 16 2018 reaffirmed to WF that these Fiji athletes are ineligible to compete at the Oceania Championships. WF has subsequently withdrawn these four athletes from the championships.”

The withdrawal came as WF remains at loggerheads with Levuka Weightlifting Club members over the administration of the national body which has resulted in the alleged boycott of some top Fijian weight-lifters including Commonwealth Games gold medallist Eileen Cikamatana.


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