On 25 August 2021, the IPF Doping Hearing Panel decided to impose a number of consequences on the USAPL as a sanction for breaching the IPF Anti-Doping Rules (ADR). The decision can be accessed via the following link https://www.powerlifting.sport/fileadmin/ipf/data/news/2021/files/210825-Decision-IPF-v-USAPL.pdf.
From 1 January 2021, the World Anti-Doping Code has stipulated that International Federations must require their National Federations to conduct testing only under the documented authority of the International Federation. As a Signatory of the World Anti-Doping Code, the IPF included this requirement in its 2021 ADR. Moreover, the IPF sent two circular letters to all its National Federations before the entry into force of the 2021 ADR to recall that they must not conduct their own doping controls after 1 January 2021.
The IPF discovered recently that the USAPL had continued to conduct its own doping controls after 1 January 2021. By doing so, the USAPL violated its obligations under the ADR and put in jeopardy the IPF’s status as a compliant Signatory of the World Anti-Doping Code. Even after notification by the IPF that it was in violation of the ADR, the USAPL refused to comply with its obligations, giving the IPF no choice but to bring charges and seek appropriate consequences in order to enforce compliance.
In his decision, Judge Williams (who is entirely independent of the IPF) agreed that the USAPL had breached the ADR and that consequences should be imposed. Whereas the detailed consequences are set out in the decision, Judge Williams effectively imposed a suspension for a period of twelve months on members of the USAPL from participating in IPF events and from holding positions within the IPF. However, those suspensions can be avoided in the event that the USAPL confirms that it will henceforth comply with its obligations under the ADR by not conducting unauthorized doping controls.
The IPF regrets that the USAPL is apparently not willing to comply with the IPF ADR, in particular as the relevant provisions are required by the World Anti-Doping Code (and, as such, apply to all major International Federations). The IPF cannot allow its status as a compliant Signatory of the World Anti-Doping Code to be jeopardized and, more generally, cannot accept that one National Federation willfully breaches its rules when all other National Federations must respect them. That would undermine the concept of a level-playing field that is at the heart of sport. Notwithstanding its public comments to the contrary, the IPF hopes that the USAPL will now agree to abide by the clear terms of the ADR and World Anti-Doping Code.
Luxembourg, August 31, 2021
The IPF Executive Committee