Mirabai Chanu became the first Indian to win a weight lifting silver after she finished second in the women's 49kg event.
However, the 27-year-old might not get the chance to better her record at the 2024 Paris Olympics.
On August 8, the last day of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) amended the Olympic Charter to grant its Executive Board powers to remove sports from Olympic Games if the the sport's governing body is found to be tarnishing the reputation of the Olympic Movement. The Olympic Movement is a value-based code that aims to promote values of fair play and sportsmanship.
That spells trouble for weightlifting and boxing at the Olympics. Boxing and weightlifting have been plagued with accusations of doping, corruption and institutional mismanagement over the last decade.
What Is The Amendment In Question?
The IOC EB amended the bye-law to Rule 45 which pertains to the sporting programme of the Olympics.
The revised bye-law now gives the IOC sweeping powers to exclude any sport from the Olympics if the sport's governing body is found to not comply with the Olympic Charter or the World Anti-Doping Code.
The addition of a "but not limited to" clause gives the IOC more power to remove a sport.
The new amendment was introduced in response to the IOC being "confronted with situations raising serious concerns regarding the governance of certain international federations" according to IOC vice-president and chairman of the Olympic legal affairs commissions John Coates.
Why Are Boxing And Weightlifting At Risk Of Being Dropped From Paris 2024?
Weightlifting and its governing body, the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) have been accused of widespread historic doping.
The doping corruption in the IWF was brought to the limelight by German broadcaster ARD in the documentary "Secret Doping - The Lord of the Lifters" in January 20 20.
In response, the IWF appointed Dr Richard McLaren, who had found widespread corruption and doping by Russia, to investigate the claims. The McLaren Report published on June 4, 2020 revealed financial and electoral corruption in the IWF along with irregularities in its anti-doping program.
In June 2024, the International Testing Agency published its report on doping corruption in the International Weightlifting Federation.
The ITA found that in the decade leading to 2019, at least 146 doping violations were not resolved by the IWF.
Tamas Ajan, who helmed the IWF from 2000 to 2020, vice president Nicolae Vlad and Hasan Akkus were charged with complicity and tampering by the ITA.
The ITA found that Ajan and Vlad had knowledge of Romanian lifter Roxana Cocos' doping violations and yet allowed her to compete and win silver at the 2012 London Olympics.
While Ajan resigned in 2020, Vlad stayed on for a year before resigning in June. The ITA also found that the IWF under Ajan regularly covered-up doping violations and also misled WADA.
Egypt, Malaysia, Romanian and Thailand were banned from sending lifters to Tokyo due to a high number of historic doping violations dating back to 2008.
India were restricted to sending two male and two female lifters for 13 violations.
AIBA, the governing body for amateur boxing has faced accusations of financial mismanagement and corruption.
The IOC has had serious concerns regards to the AIBA's finances, governance, ethics, refereeing and judging. It had stated in 2019 that the AIBA had debts of $16 million which could increase to $29 million.
The IOC banned AIBA and took over the running of boxing qualifications and event at the Tokyo Olympics.
In 2012, Rakhimov was accused by the US Department of Treasury (USDT) of being a member of Brothers' Circle, an international crime syndicate largely based in countries of the former Soviet Union and imposed sanctions. The USDT have stated that Rakhimov is one of the key leaders of Uzebki organised crime and has been involved in the procuring and trafficking of heroin globally.
Rakhimov has denied the USDT's charges vehemently but resigned from his post as AIBA president in 2019.
In May 2021, AIBA announced that it had settled its debts after paying back a $10 million loan to Azerbaijan company Benkons LLC.
However, the IOC will decide whether to reinstate AIBA after the Tokyo Olympics.
Will Weightlifting And Boxing Be Axed From Paris 2024?
While it is too soon to tell, boxing and weightlifting could be dropped from the 2024 Paris Olympics if the IOC is not satisfied with the reforms being done by respective international federations. As things stand, boxing and weightlifting, which are part of the Olympic's 24 core sports, could be dropped for Paris 2024.