Why weightlifting is under the Olympic release cloud and how sports are being added to the games
India’s best Olympic medal tally, which took place this year in Tokyo, includes a silver medal won by Saikhom Mirabai Chanu. Without the victory, the presentation of the 2020 Games would have been on par with India’s performance with London 2012, where it had won a total of six medals. But weightlifting is threatened with being pulled from the Olympics due to issues involving its governing body. The International Olympic Committee (IOC), in fact, has now given itself more powers to remove a sport from the Olympic program. So how is a sport presented at the Olympics and why is it being phased out? This is particularly interesting because there is talk that cricket could be included in the program of the Games, although it would not be the first time for the sport, having appeared only once in the Olympic Games, in 1900 in Paris.
Why is weightlifting threatened with exclusion?
It is one of the original sports that was part of the Games as they began in its modern avatar in Athens in 1896, but weightlifting is at serious risk of being taken off the Olympic program. Reason: allegations of corruption and mismanagement against the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF), the world’s governing body for sport.
Reports say that unfortunate with its operation, especially its ability to crack down on suspected doping, the IOC warned last year that weightlifting would be taken out of the Games unless the IWF introduced sweeping reforms, including rigorous testing standards drugs. Already, for the 2020 Olympic Games, the IOC had reduced the number of weightlifters to 196 against 260 at the 2016 Games and will bring it back to 120 at the next Olympic Games, in 2024 in Paris.
However, attempts by the IWF to make changes failed with reports that the sports body failed to adopt a new constitution that would address the issues reported by the IOC in a vote in June of. This year. Reports indicate that delegates from the United States, Germany, China, etc. disagreed with “old guard” weightlifting nations that would be hurt by tougher anti-doping measures. “
During a meeting on the sidelines of the Tokyo Games, the IOC amended the Olympic Charter to state that “the IOC Session may remove any sport from the program of the Olympic Games if, among other violations, the competent international federation (IF) governing that sport does not comply with the decisions of the IOC EB, or if the IF concerned is acting in a way that could tarnish the reputation of the Olympic Movement “.
Do you have other sports facing the action?
In 2019, the IOC suspended the World Amateur Boxing Governing Body (AIBA) from overseeing the boxing competition at Tokyo 2020 for much of the same issues that weightlifting now faces problems for. The AIBA was penalized after months of investigation into its finances, governance and refereeing standards, with the IOC setting up the Olympic Boxing Task Force (BTF), which was tasked with organizing the boxing event in Tokyo.
“We have proposed a way back to lift the suspension after Tokyo 2020, but for that there must be other fundamental changes within AIBA,” IOC President Thomas Bach said in 2019.
But it is not always that a governing body must be under the threat of a sanction for a sport to be threatened with withdrawal. Take the case of wrestling for example. In a surprise announcement in 2013, the IOC said wrestling would not be on the list for Tokyo 2020.
Reports at the time indicated that the IOC Executive Board had decided to withdraw struggle after finding it failed to meet a set of 39 criteria – which included ratings, ticket sales, anti-doping policy, and global attendance and popularity – following the Games London 2012. It was also reported that the IOC had discovered that the international wrestling body, FILA, had, among other things, no ethical rules for technical officials and no medical officer on its council. administration.
However, within months, the IOC reversed its decision and reintroduced wrestling into the Tokyo 2020 program after the sport received enough nods in an IOC vote, making baseball-softball and baseball. squash. Baseball and softball eventually found a place on the Tokyo program.
So how do you choose an Olympic sport?
The IOC states that it “modifies the Olympic program for each edition, keeping in mind the changing trends, the evolution of existing sports in the itinerary and the popularity of a particular discipline in the host country”. Thus, Tokyo 2020 saw the inclusion of four new sports – karate, surfing, skateboarding and sport climbing – while baseball and softball made a return to the list.
The IOC has an extensive checklist to assess whether a sport can be included in the Olympics and regularly reviews the criteria. After the 2004 IOC Session, he indicated that there was a list of 33 evaluation criteria divided into seven categories, which included, among others, the history and tradition of a sport, its popularity, its image. and, of course, the cost of showing it to the Olympics. As the Tokyo Games approach, it was reported that there were 35 criteria for selecting a sport divided into five major categories.
A 2008 IOC document also spoke about certain specificities for a sport to be part of the Olympic Games. Thus, he said that a sport should be “widely practiced by men in at least 75 countries and on four continents and by women in at least 40 countries and on three continents” to be included in the Summer Games and “in at least 20 countries on three continents” if it is to appear in the Winter Olympics.
But the fact remains that the Summer Games saw a gradual expansion of its sporting strength, from just nine in Athens 1896 to 33 in Tokyo. And new sports are constantly being added: Paris 2024 will include breakdance as an Olympic sport. Indian cricket fans would surely find the prospect of the sport being played at the Olympics mouth watering given the medal prospects it represents. the International Cricket Council (ICC) approached the IOC to include cricket on the list for the 2028 Los Angeles Summer Games.
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