The following statement is attributable to USA Weightlifting CEO Phil Andrews:
“USA Weightlifting puts its highest priority on our athletes’ health and safety. While we are disappointed that this talented Team USA will not be able to compete in Bucharest, we understand and respect the Romania Weightlifting Federation and International Weightlifting Federation's decision to cancel the 2020 IWF Junior World Championships. For our Olympic-eligible athletes, we are exploring all options available to ensure this cancelation does not impact their qualification for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.”
Communication from the IWF:
“Throughout our planning for the IWF Junior World Weightlifting Championships 2020, as with any of our events, the health and wellbeing of participants has been a key priority. We have been diligent in seeking the best and latest advice in this regard.
The recent spreading of the Coronavirus (COVID19) worldwide has been high on our agenda and in the focus of our concern. At present, the risk to individual health remains low. In order to mitigate impacts, however, public health authorities and governments around the world have acted quickly to put in place measures designed to slow and prevent further spread. These variously include outbound travel advisories, inbound travel bans, quarantines and self-isolation measures.
Standing WHO advice is that in the case of major international sports events the individual characteristics of each event must be considered. A World Weightlifting Championships, such as the 2020 IWF JWC scheduled in Bucharest from 13 March, necessarily involves many people from about 80 countries being in close proximity indoors. Barbells and plates are touched by many hands. And in this case, the age of the athletes must also be considered. Furthermore, the extent and complexity of the public health measures being put in place is such that the IWF cannot be sure athletes of all nations would attend (or that if they did attend, they would be allowed to return home).
We have concluded extensive consultations, first of all of course, with the host Romanian Weightlifting Federation. After discussion and upon request of President Nicu Vlad of the Romanian Weightlifting Federation, the Executive Board has agreed to accept the cancellation of the 2020 IWF Junior World Championships in Bucharest, Romania as a precaution due to the ongoing development COVID19. The cancellation will include the Committee meetings and Congress as well.
Please kindly note the above and will let you know of further developments as soon as possible.”