The New Zealand weightlifting team will be without eight of its 30 lifters at this week’s Oceania Championship after failing to submit timely whereabouts forms to drug testers.
New Zealand and other countries within the Oceania region have been caught out by not submitting their ‘Adams’ report to drug testers in time for this week’s Oceania Championship in New Caledonia.
As of the first of April a ruling was made that the ‘Adams’ form which is designed to allow the drug testers to know where athletes are on any given day, must be completed quarterly and submitted two months before any major competition.
40 athletes in total have reportedly missed out, eight from New Zealand including junior lifters whose event was an Olympic qualifier.
“With the tight turn around coming off the Commonwealth Games the new regulations coming down from the IWF got the athletes caught short.” says Weightlifting New Zealand high performance director Simon Kent.
“it’s a combination of new protocols, a national sporting organisation with only one paid employee getting caught on the hop and it’s just a really unfortunate set of circumstances.”
The sport of weightlifting is under a microscope by the World Anti-Doping Agency with pressure on the International Weightlifting Federation to rid the sport of doping or face being dropped as an Olympic sport.
After failing drug tests from samples in 2008 and 2012 Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Moldova, Turkey and Ukraine are currently on yearlong bans which expires in September.
A direct result of this was implementing stricter timeframes for all nations which New Zealand is yet to adjust to.
“Some of the athletes decided to travel anyway and use the experience to have a training camp and support their teammates which is excellent.” says Kent.
“OWNs Olympic Weightlifting New Zealand worked with the other athletes to find an outcome that was favourable for them and some received refunds and didn’t travel.”
“We worked really hard with all those athletes to find the best outcome and we are really keen as an organisation to learn from this.”