Weightlifting boss blasts anti-doping chief

Aug. 14, 2008, 4:07 a.m. (ET)

BEIJING (AP) The International Weightlifting Federation has criticized the World Anti-Doping Agency's leader for suggesting weightlifting be dropped from future Olympics if it doesn't crack down on doping.

John Fahey told The Associated Press last Sunday that weightlifting and cycling, which have a long history of doping scandals, risked being excluded from the Olympic program "if the cheating is continued."

In a statement Wednesday, the IWF called his comments "extremely regrettable."

The entire 11-member Bulgarian weightlifting team was barred from the Beijing Games after testing positive for steroids, and 11 Greek lifters also were excluded after failing pre-games tests. Several lifters also were caught during the 2000 and 2004 Olympics.

IWF president Tamas Ajan, a member of WADA's board, said choosing sports for the Olympic program was outside Fahey's provenance.

Ajan stressed the IWF has a zero tolerance on doping, noting the Greek and Bulgarian cheats were caught in tests done by the federation.

"It is worth pointing out that alone in 2008, between Jan 1 and July 15, the IWF carried out more than 1,200 in- and out-of-competition tests in 104 countries around the world," Ajan said. "Therefore, we reject such statements bringing our sport into disrepute."