File Photo: Egypt's Sara Ahmed competes during the Women's 69kg weightlifting competition at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro on August 10, 2016. (Photo: AFP)
The results of the current internal investigation over the recent doping crisis of the Egyptian Weightlifting Federation (EWF) would be announced soon, according to the Egyptian Olympic committee secretary-general Sherif El-Erian, who also unveiled new measures taken recently to avoid further doping bans in the future.
"Immediately after the ban announcement, the Egyptian Weightlifting Federation president asked to be suspended, while the Egyptian Olympic committee formed a new committee to manage the federation and also to investigate what happened," El-Erian told Ahram Online on Tuesday.
"The results of this investigation will be revealed soon [by the end of this month or next month]," he added.
On 18 September, Egypt's Olympics committee revealed that the country was banned from participating in all activities of the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) for two years over an old doping case.
The ban relates to an incident in 2016 when seven Egyptian players failed doping tests during the Youth African Championships in Cairo.
In the wake of the ban, Egypt's participation in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo was thrown into doubt but the bad news was confirmed after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) turned down Egypt's appeal last week.
"What happened is normal as we already have players who failed in doping tests and that has happened with other countries like china, Bulgaria and Russia," explained El-Erian.
"The rules are clear and the attempts of the Egyptian Weightlifting Federation president to overturn the fine or the suspension through his position in the international federation were the reasons behind the delay from 2016.
"The Egyptian Weightlifting Federation board is responsible for what happened to some extent, but you can't entirely blame them.
"Perhaps they should have a specialist doctor or trainer to deal with the supplements or it may be financial problems that affected their priorities.
"Doping examinations are performed on a permanent basis, but there isn't any country that can 100% avoid doping problems. I didn't call for the resignation of the Weightlifting Federation president, but I said that he should do that from a moral point of view.
"I expect that even filing an appeal with the Swiss Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland would be useless," he added.
New measures to fight doping
Following the ban, Egypt's most decorated weightlifter of all time, Mohamed Ihab, announced his retirement after losing hope to appear in the coming Olympics amid uncertain future for weightlifting in the country.
To avoid the repeat of a similar crisis in the future, El-Erian said measures were taken to fight doping in different Egyptian sports, not only weightlifting.
"Right after the weightlifting crisis, the Egyptian Anti-Doping Organization (NADO) started awareness campaigns with different sports federations," he said.
"The sports ministry also decided not to approve any supplements' financial supply for any federation unless the NADO approves that the supplement itself is safe."
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