Drugs in Sport: Lifters in the clear

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The Independent Online
ANDREW DAVIES and Andrew Saxton, the British weightlifters sent home from Barcelona before last summer's Olympics after testing positive for clenbuterol - a drug the International Olympic Committee classifies as a steroid - yesterday had their current freedom to compete underscored by a ruling of the sport's international body, writes Mike Rowbottom.

Following the British Amateur Weightlifting Association's decision in October not to take any action against the pair despite the positive finding of a test administered by the Sports Council, the International Weightlifting Federation said after a meeting in Egypt it had no jurisdiction in the case.

Both lifters admitted taking the drug, but denied that the IOC had banned it at the time.

'We have always said that it is up to individual federations to act once we have presented evidence of adverse findings to them,' a Sports Council spokesman said. 'This ruling has not taken us any further forward, but it is down to the International Olympic Committee to answer their side of it.'

Wally Holland, the BAWA secretary and an IWF executive member, said: 'As far as the BAWA is concerned, they have always been free to compete and they remain so.'