The Bulgarian Weightlifting Federation remains banned from entering the next Olympic Games

Press Release

29 January 2016 – The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has issued its decision in the arbitration procedure between the Bulgarian Weightlifting Federation (BWF) and the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF). The BWF remains banned from entering the next edition of the Olympic Games. However, the fine of USD 500,000 imposed on the BWF is set aside.

In December 2015, the BWF filed an appeal at the CAS against the decision taken by the IWF President on 9 November 2015 in which the BWF was fined USD 500,000 and banned from entering the next Olympic Games after 11 of its athletes were found to have committed anti-doping rule violations.

In appealing to the CAS, the BWF sought to have the IWF President’s decision annulled. With the agreement of the parties, an expedited procedure was conducted and the Sole Arbitrator appointed to decide the case (Prof. Dr. Martin Schimke (Germany)) held a hearing with the parties at the CAS headquarters on 25 January 2016.

With respect to the fine, the Sole Arbitrator found that the IWF President had no jurisdiction to take such decision alone. In accordance with the IWF Rules, it is for the Executive Board to rule on the issue of the fine.

Notwithstanding the above, the decision of the IWF President with respect to the ban on entering the next Olympic Games is confirmed as the Sole Arbitrator found that the regulations do not specifically determine that the Executive Board of the IWF should take such decision, and also because the pre-condition for the imposition of such a ban was complied with (9 or more athletes were found to have committed an anti-doping rule violation within one sporting season).

The Arbitral Award, with the grounds for the Sole Arbitrator’s decision, will be issued in due course.

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