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2020 Tokyo Olympics

SWP prexy to attend IWF reform congress as sport fights for life

Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas (SWP) President Monico Puentevella is presently in Las Vegas as part of Sen. Manny Pacquiao’s entourage for his forthcoming WBA welterweight championship clash with Yordenis Ugas.

But he won’t be with the fighting senator when he flies back home after the bout, for there is one more battle he hopes to win.

Puentevella will be attending the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) Constitutional Reform Congress on August 29-30 in Doha, Qatar, a moment so crucial for a sport that is fighting for its dear life in the Olympics.

“August 29-30, ‘yan ang crucial date para rito sa constiution and by-laws natin,” he told the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum, Tuesday.

“Nagpaalam na ako sa aking kumpare. Sabi ko kay Pambansang Kamao, hindi ako uuwi kasama niya, punta akong Doha dahil paninindigan ko, ipaglalaban ko na hindi pwedeng mabura o mawala ang weightlifting sa Olympics.”

Allegations of decades-long doping, bribery, and corruption within the highest levels of leadership have rocked the IWF, thus the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) threat to drop the sport in the next Summer Games.

Reuters reported last June that former IWF chief 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.

“Matagal na ‘tong problema dahil merong mga violators ng doping. Talagang matigas ang mga ulo,” Puentevella said.

Weightlifting is still part of the 2024 Olympiad in Paris, although that could still change — especially if the IOC won’t be convinced by the IWF.

#ReadMore  POC promotes PNVF to probationary status

Should that happen, the sport could possibly face the same fate boxing had in the recent Olympics. The IOC suspended its recognition of the International Boxing Association (AIBA) and handled the boxing competitions itself.

“Wala nang kurapsyon masyado gaya noon,” offered Puentevella as boxing in the Tokyo Games was ran by the Olympic Boxing Task Force (BTF).

Written By

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

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