Mendoza: Weightlifting in the eye of IOC storm

Al Mendoza

OUR possible weightlifting gold through Hidilyn Diaz in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics could be in jeopardy?

That’s because the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has threatened to scrap weightlifting in future Olympics because of what the IOC said was weightlifting’s “vast steroid problem.”

The IOC did not specify the Olympics next year as possibly without weightlifting.

A good sign was the IOC backing down on its threat in March after the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) promised to introduce “stricter drug testing” of its members.

Just last week, the IOC stripped Ukrainian weightlifter Oleksiy Torokhtiy of the gold medal he won at the 2012 Olympics and banned him for doping as well.

Torokhtiy tested positive for the banned steroid turinabol when his sample from the 2012 London Olympics was retested using modern methods.

It’s been seven years since Torokghtiy’s win but then, they store urine samples of athletes that long.

Thus, if an athlete survives the first testing, as in Torokhtiy’s case, he won’t in the second testing since the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) has not stopped modernizing its methods of doping tests.

Before Torokhtiy received a two-year ban in December 2018, the IWF had put him under suspicion and placed him on provisional suspension.

Weightlifting has been the most hit by IOC suspensions, with Torokhtiy becoming the fifth gold medalist from the London Olympics to test positive.

Torokhtiy quit competing after the 2012 Olympics but his doping misdeed has dented his new career as a sports official.

In its report, the AP said Torokhtiy was previously vice president of the Ukrainian Weightlifting Federation and also held positions at the European Weightlifting Federation and Ukrainian Olympic Committee. Because of his doping ban, he’s barred from holding any post in sports bodies.

Doping in the Olympics is so rampant that clean athletes find it hard to defeat dope-fueled foes.

Wonder no more why that first ever Olympic gold has eluded us to this day.