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Russian Weightlifting Federation president Maxim Agapitov will receive his accreditation for the Tokyo Olympics immediately, the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled on Saturday.
Agapitov had his accreditation stripped away from him last week by the International Olympic Committee over an anti-doping rule violation from 1994. The CAS determined on Saturday, though, that the IOC punishing Agapitov for something that happened nearly three decades ago was “clearly disproportionate.”
"The application filed by Mr. Maxim Agapitov is upheld and the accreditation delivered to him in June 2021 for the Olympic Games in Tokyo will have to be reinstated," CAS said in a statement, via Reuters.
"The Panel found that the evidence submitted by the parties was sufficient to demonstrate that Mr. Agapitov did meet the criteria established by the IOC to receive an accreditation ... despite an anti-doping rule violation committed in 1994, at the time of his athlete’s career.
"The Panel considered that the criteria in case of any ADRV committed at any time in an athlete’s life was clearly disproportionate.”
Russian weightlifting chief had accreditation pulled
Agapitov, who is also the acting president of the European Weightlifting Federation, had his accreditation for the Games issued to him last month, as he was supposed to attend Tokyo as part of the International Weightlifting Federation delegation.
Yet on July 16, the IOC pulled that accreditation from him. It said that officials must “not have a personal history linked to any anti-doping rule violation and/or sanction.”
Agapitov is a board member with the IWF, which has been rocked with numerous doping allegations and cover-ups in recent years. Longtime president Tamas Ajan resigned due to the scandal last year, too, after 20 years at the helm of the organization. According to Reuters, there are nearly 150 “unresolved” anti-doping cases involving the IWF between 2009-19.
Agapitov argued that because his personal doping suspension came nearly 30 years ago that he shouldn’t be punished again. And, given his record helping to clean up the Russian Weightlifting Federation since he became the president in 2016, that he has more than proven his commitment to the sport.
“Justice prevailed today,” Agapitov said, via TASS. “The decision by the IOC to strip me of my accreditation was a blow, it cast doubt over my reputation.
“I didn’t doubt for a second that I would follow through to safeguard my name and reputation. The question surrounding my trip to Tokyo was secondary to me.”
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