Egyptian weightlifters have been barred from the world championships which began in Thailand on Wednesday following a doping ban announced by the International Weightlifting Federation.
The Egyptians have been hit with a two-year suspension, starting on September 12. The Egyptian federation “has 21 days to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS)”, said the IWF in a statement
“The IWF will not make further comment until this period ends,” said the statement.
If CAS upholds the ruling, Egypt could also be barred from competing at the Tokyo Olympics next year. The suspension follows a series of seven positive doping tests for young weightlifters in 2016.
Under IWF rules, any federation with at least three positive controls over a one-year period faces a two-year suspension. Egypt has been a stronghold for weightlifting over the years, yielding 11 medals, including five gold, out of a total of 31 medals won in the country’s 22 Olympic participations.
Egypt earned two bronze medals at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, thanks to Mohamed Ihab Mahmoud (-77 kg) and Sara Ahmed in the women’s (-69 kg). Both are medal hopes next summer in Tokyo if the ban is lifted.