Egypt fears ban from weightlifting over doping scandal
Egypt’s anti-doping committee revealed that five Egyptian weightlifters had tested positive during local championships in Alexandria in March.
Egypt’s anti-doping committee chief Osama Ghoneim said that five samples had been taken from three female and two male athletes at the Egyptian Cup in March in Alexandria.
“The tests showed traces of banned substances and the five were suspended temporarily until the completion of hearings,” Ghoneim told Reuters.
“We are currently conducting the hearings and they have been summoned. But some of them failed to attend the investigation and we gave them 10 more days to attend or face the consequences.”
This follows an announcement from the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) that seven Egyptian lifters – two 20-year-old athletes, and five teenagers, two of whom were 14-year-old girls – tested positive for steroids at the African Youth and Junior Championships in Cairo in December.
However, the Egyptian anti-doping committee and the Egyptian Weightlifting Federation rejected these charges and blamed it on tainted food, saying they were victims of a conspiracy.
“There is a conspiracy against the Egyptian Federation behind doping cases,” Egypt Weightlifting Federation head Mahmoud Mahjoub told Reuters.
If Egypt failed to provide evidence to support they were victims of a plot, it may face a lengthy ban. According to IWF rules, if a country had three or more positive tests in a year, it would face a range of sanctions and can be suspended from the sport.
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