Iran General NewsIran pays fine, weightlifting ban lifted

Iran pays fine, weightlifting ban lifted

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AFP : Iran said that the international weightlifting federation has agreed to lift a doping-based ban on its athletes after the Islamic republic’s federation agreed to pay a 400,000-dollar fine, the ISNA news agency reported Sunday. TEHRAN, Nov 26, 2006 (AFP) – Iran said that the international weightlifting federation has agreed to lift a doping-based ban on its athletes after the Islamic republic’s federation agreed to pay a 400,000-dollar fine, the ISNA news agency reported Sunday.

The ban was imposed after nine members of the Iranian national team tested positive for doping during their preparations for the 2006 international competitions in Dominican Republic.

The athletes, considered as backbone of Iran’s national weightlifting team, were banned for two years from international competitions.

The deal was brokered in a meeting between the president of the International Weightlifting Federation Ajan Tamas, and the acting head of the Iranian weightlifting federation, Bahram Afsharzadeh, the report said.

“We have already paid 100,000 dollars (of the 400,000 dollars), and we will pay the rest in annual installments starting May 2007. But we hope to have it reduced in future,” Afsharzadeh said.

Asked about any decrease in the two-year ban, he responded: “The only reply Tamas gave us was to be patient, but we hope that in future the ban will be shortened so that our athletes can take part in Beijing (summer) Olympics (2008),” he added.

Iran’s weightlifting team will however take part in the Asian Games in Doha with Hossein Rezazadeh the 105+ kilogramme double Olympic champion and world record holder together with a lesser known teammate, who also tested negative for doping.

Rezazadeh, a national hero, will be carrying Iran’s flag in the opening ceremony.

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