The Australian Weightlifting Federation (AWF) has been in the spotlight of weightlifting news for some weeks now due to some changes they’ve made to the rules and regulations for their upcoming Open 2020 Tournament. Many of the aspiring athletes within weightlifting have been shocked at the extent of some of these changes, though the AWF maintains that these strict rules are absolutely necessary for the sake of healthy competition.
As stated, the changes were specifically in regards to the coming 2020 Open Weightlifting Tournament, though it may be canceled due to the ongoing pandemic.
The first major change that came was the change in venue, as the Open Weightlifting Tournament will now be held in the Charlesworth Theatre which is the building that now serves as the Australian Institute of Sport. It is located on Leverrier Street, Belconnen in Canberra.
Conditions for Participation
The changes to participation conditions have been the biggest cause of concern among Australian weightlifters who are hoping to be taking part in the competition, which has been historically inclusive of weightlifters. The most contentious new conditions are as follows:
1. Participants now must take full financial responsibility for any damages to the equipment. Usually if a participant accidentally damages the floor, for instance, the onus was on the AWF to pay for the damage. Now, however, all financial responsibility for damages to equipment is placed on the participants.
2. Athletes must be endorsed by their National Federation. As an open competition, this is a surprising additional rule as the competition and the AWF generally is known for its inclusivity. That being said, it is relatively easy to get the endorsement.
3. Athletes must be above the age of 15. The previous age for entry was 14 but this has now changed due to pressure from parental groups. Athletes of this age range of course also have to have parental permission to participate, though this is nothing new.
Other conditions for participation, however, have remained unchanged. These are universal to all forthcoming competitions by the AWF. For instance, participants must always follow all directions given to them by the AWF official during the length of competitions. They must also follow directions given by the Technical Officials (TO’s) and anyone from the Organizing Committee (OC). Participants must accept all moral responsibility in regards to their own health and well-being. What this means is that if a person hurts themselves by trying to lift too much it is not the fault of the AWF. That being said, officials will give participants advice on their limits. Finally, participants must acknowledge the AWF constitution and comply with the Anti-Doping Policy. While there is no change here, there have been changes to the Anti-Doping Policy in regards to what substances are banned by the policy.
Any athlete wishing to compete must be listed on the AWF’s Registered Testing Pool, or be tested prior to the events. This can cause confusion as some athletes are surprised when they have to be tested despite being on other independent lists.
Another cause of confusion is the list of substances that are considered to be steroids, also known as anabolic agents. The two main ones that are commonly taken by accident are Clenbuterol, which is a common asthma treatment, and DHEA related compounds such as 7-keto-DHEA and 7-hydroxy-DHEA as they sometimes are present in food. Another confusing one is SARMs, which are legal without question in many countries. In Australia however, the regulations are a bit more confusing. Your best bet is to look at a guide for sarms australia to avoid conflicting information. For the most part however, changes to the AWF’s doping policy have been minimal.