Officials of Egyptian Weightlifting Federation referred to prosecution over doping crisis: Sports Ministry

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Wednesday 11 Dec 2019

Fallout from a prior doping case, dating to 2016, sees Egypt’s weightlifters barred from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Egytpt's Sports minister Ashraf Sobhy (Al-Ahram)

The board of the Egyptian Weightlifting Federation (EWF) and also its medical and managerial staffs have all been referred to prosecution over the recent doping crisis that caused the country's suspension for two years from international competitions, the Ministry of Sports revealed in a statement Wednesday.

“Minister of Sports Ashraf Sobhi appreciates the efforts the Egyptian Olympic Committee and legal committee made on the recent ban imposed on Egypt," the statement said.

"The weak legal situation of the Weightlifting Federation and the fact that Egyptian players have already failed in doping tests resulted in the suspension of the federation for two years, missing the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

"The decision to refer officials to prosecution came on the back of the ministry's investigation committee report," the statement 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 a prior 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.

The sports minister stressed that he stands firmly against any repetition of a similar crisis in any of Egypt's sports federations in the future, promising to find the best solutions for Egyptian champions who will suffer from the ban.

"Raising awareness on harmful supplements is a must for all Egyptian athletes," the ministry's statement concluded.

On Tuesday, Egyptian Olympic Committee secretary-general Sherif El-Erian told Ahram Online that the results of an internal investigation over the recent doping crisis would be announced soon.

"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 explained.

"Right after the weightlifting crisis, the Egyptian Anti-Doping Organisation (NADO) started awareness campaigns with different sports federations.

"The sports ministry also decided not to approve any supplements' financial supply for any federation unless NADO approves that the supplement itself is safe," he added.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

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