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2020 Tokyo Olympics

Diaz does not believe Olympic weightlifting will be scrapped

“Imposibleng wala.”

Hidilyn Diaz offered that when asked about her take on the state of weightlifting in the Olympics, which many fear will be scrapped from the next Summer Games due the alleged scandals that have mired the sport. 

“Ang alam ko matutuloy ‘yan.

“Meron pa rin ‘yang weightlifting. Imposibleng wala,” confidently said the Philippines’ first-ever Olympic champion in the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum webcast, Tuesday.

Weightlifting has been in the Olympic program since 1896. It was not included in the 1900, 1908, and 1912 Games due to various reasons.

In a report by the New York Times, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has threatened to drop the sport in the calendar due to allegations of doping, bribery, and corruption within the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF).

Last June, Reuters reported that former IWF head Tamas Ajan and current vice president Nicu Vlad were charged with “complicity and tampering” with regard to doping offenses following a probe by the International Testing Agency.

Weightlifting is still part of 2024 but that could still change, said IWF official Sam Coffa. The qualification process has also changed as only 120 lifters will play in Paris — far from the 260 in Rio de Janeiro and the 196 in Tokyo.

Diaz, for her part, shared that she undergoes doping tests even if she isn’t competing. “May ginagawa ang IWF gaya nung sa anti-doping, lahat kami nagte-test kami — kahit walang laro nagte-test kami,” she said.

“At kailangan updated ‘yung WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) namin. For my part, as an athlete siyempre, we should stay clean and say no to doping,” added the 30-year-old weightlifter, who had just competed in her fourth consecutive Olympics.

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The Zamboanga City native is very much aware of what has been happening to weightlifting. Still, she is optimistic that the IOC and the international federation will find a way to settle these issues.

“Hindi ako naniniwala na matatanggal ang weightlifting sa Olympics kasi matagal na ‘yung sport,” said Diaz, who began competing in the Olympics in 2008 as a 17-year-old.

Kailangan lang talaga ng reform.”

Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Chairman Butch Ramirez echoed the bemedaled Filipina’s sentiments, believing that the IOC is capable of handling the situation within weightlifting’s governing body.

In the past, the IOC had suspended its recognition of the International Boxing Federation (AIBA) due to corruption scandals. But the sport was still played in Tokyo under the supervision of the Olympic Boxing Task Force (BTF).

“One of the fundamental duties of the IOC is governance,” he said. “Meron silang pamamahala supervising the international sports federations .. just like what happened to other sports na may problema sila.

“But pinagpatuloy pa rin nila ‘yung sports with IOC intervention. So I dont think ang weightlifting mawawala because isa yan sa mga importanteng sports na nandyan na sa Olympic Games. Ayusin lang nila.

“Kasi ang mga taong namamahala sa IF, mga tao lang din. Kung hindi maganda governance, talagang may problema yan and I think the IOC is prepared to handle it,” the long-time sports official closed.

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

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