Brazilian weightlifter Fernando Reis has been outspoken in his criticism of Enrique Montero, President, Brazilian Weightlifting Federation  ©Getty Images

Fernando Reis, Brazil’s top weightlifter, who has been embroiled in one of the most incredible controversies in the sport’s history in recent months, is in Brazil’s team for the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) World Championships in California.

The selection means Reis will not have to return to court in his battle against Enrique Montero, President of the Brazilian Weightlifting Federation, who appeared intent on blocking Reis’ participation in Anaheim, where the International Weightlifing Federation (IWF) World Championships are due to take place from November 27 until December 5.

Reis, a medal contender in the super-heavyweights, told insidethegames, "I am not celebrating this result, because I feel shame for my country to be represented by someone who puts political matters above everything else, who shows no concern for the sport. 

"I get very frustrated."

The Pan American Championships in Miami in July were overshadowed by the Reis case.

Montero had made the Miami competition the only qualifying event for Brazil’s World Championships team, then left Reis out of the Pan American team, effectively blocking his path to the biggest event on the weightlifting calendar this year.

It led to a court case and a heated meeting of the Pan American Weightlifting Federation (PAWF) Executive Board which lasted until the early hours, and in which Montero shouted and screamed in anger and defiance.

Montero had turned against Reis, who competed at the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games in London and Rio de Janeiro respectively, after Reis criticised his leadership in a post-Olympics television interview.

When Montero left him out of the Pan American team Reis, 27, took legal action in a Sao Paulo court, winning a ruling against Montero, a decision accepted by the PAWF.

Montero, however, would still not accept Reis, who competed in Miami as an "unofficial" individual and was not awarded a medal, despite finishing with a total of 428 kilograms, far ahead of all his rivals.

"I am ashamed of this situation, ashamed of Enrique Montero, ashamed for the sport, for Brazil," Reis said immediately after his ‘victory’. 

"This man just wants to harm me and my career."

Fernando Reis will be a representative of Brazil at the IWF World Championships in California  ©Getty Images
Fernando Reis will be a representative of Brazil at the IWF World Championships in California ©Getty Images

Montero, whose father David was reported by ESPN as being removed as the National Federation's President by the Brazilian Olympic Committee in 2008 over suspected misappropriation of public funds, has not spoken to Reis since that event, and has barely spoken to him at all since he took charge of the Brazilian Weightlifting Federation four years ago.

Reis said he was "very thankful" for the backing of the PAWF and the IWF, which had persuaded Montero to name him on Wednesday, deadline day for preliminary entries for the World Championships.

"The IWF told me that I would compete no matter how, because they were shocked by what happened in Miami at the Pan Ams," Reis said.

"They backed me up, providing comfort for the athlete.

"But nobody from the Brazilian Federation has spoken to me, and I haven’t heard from Enrique Montero.

"The Brazilian Federation announced that they were hiring a new managing director after the Pan Ams, but he lives in Colombia, he never sees the athletes, he doesn’t know our condition.

"I have no idea when all this is going to end. 

"Honestly, it seems that everybody involved in sports in Brazil is destroying their sport. 

"People are only concerned with themselves, they don’t worry about the sport."

Reis said he was training well and "definitely aiming for a meda", though gold would appear to be out of the question with the multiple champion and world record holder Lasha Talakhadze, from Georgia, in the field.

"I’m in outstanding form," said Reis.

"Every day I train better and better. 

"I do know that my division is very competitive, but I'm preparing myself for that."