The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has demanded action from the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) over 130 doping samples “hidden” during the tenure of its disgraced former president Tamás Aján.
Evidence of the 130 untested samples was found by the McLaren team but not announced when the report was published, apparently because there had been insufficient time to investigate further.
The McLaren Independent Weightlifting Investigation passed on the evidence to the IWF, whose Board was told in a meeting this week that WADA had written to ask what action was being taken, and calling for the samples to be processed.
Details of the cases were said by one source to have been “buried away” at the Budapest headquarters of the IWF over a period of years.
Samples were taken but not processed.
Although many are years old, others were said to be dated as recently as 2019 – and were taken at a time when the sport was under threat of losing its Olympic place because of widespread doping.
It is not clear where the samples are stored, nor is it known how many doping violations have been committed.
Aján was shown by an independent investigation into corruption in weightlifting to have covered up doping positives and delayed suspensions, actions which benefited Turkey and Azerbaijan among others.
He was “meddling” in anti-doping procedures illegally even when he was on the board of WADA, said Richard McLaren, the Canadian professor of law who led the investigation.
The IWF was “unable to comment until after cases are closed by the International Testing Agency”, which carries out the IWF’s anti-doping procedures.
The 130 unprocessed samples are additional to the “41 hidden cases and 10 possible other cases” in the IWF records which were made public by McLaren, who did so much to expose state-sponsored cheating in Russian sport.
His team’s findings – the highlights were more than $10 million (£7.9 million/€8.6 million) unaccounted for, doping cover-ups and rigged elections – made headlines around the world when McLaren announced them in June, seven weeks after Aján left the IWF.
The 81-year-old Hungarian, who was the focus in January of a German television documentary that exposed years of corruption in weightlifting, resigned after 44 years as general secretary and President of the sport’s governing body.