Weightlifting: Threat to Britons

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The Independent Online
ANDREW SAXTON and Andrew Davies, the two weightlifters exonerated by the British federation after being suspended internationally for showing traces of clenbuterol in drug tests taken before the Barcelona Olympics, face a further threat to their sporting lives. The sport's international ruling body is ready to discuss restoring their bans.

Tamas Ajan, the secretary general of the International Weightlifting Federation, said yesterday that the IWF would announce at its next board meeting in February that clenbuterol, a stimulant used by asthma sufferers that is banned by the International Olympic Committee, was illegal in lifting and could not be used even during training.

Ajan refused to be drawn on the case of the British lifters. The British Weightlifting Association quashed the bans on Saxton and Davies in October, but the case received so much publicity that the IWF felt compelled to review it.

'Now this is a matter of the International Weightlifting Federation's prestige,' he said. 'We have always been pioneers in the fight against doping. Nobody should think we will put our head in the sand like an ostrich.'