International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) President Tamás Aján claims the world governing body has "done everything" it can to preserve the sport's Olympic status ©Getty Images

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is set to preserve weightlifting’s Olympic status when its Executive Board reconvenes tomorrow to discuss the sport’s future beyond Tokyo 2020, insidethegames understands.

The threat of weightlifting being dropped from the Olympic programme follows a series of doping scandals, most notably 24 positives at the 2015 World Championships and 49 positives in the re-testing of samples from the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games in Beijing and London respectively.

Thomas Bach, the IOC President, has previously warned weightlifting had a "massive doping problem".

He called for a "satisfactory" report from the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) on how it intended to deal with doping in future and that was sent to the IOC last Wednesday (November 29) by Attila Adamfi, the world governing body’s director general.

The final amendments were made after the IWF Congress here in Anaheim last Monday (November 27), when recommendations made by the Clean Sport and Sports Programme Commissions were unanimously approved.

The main changes highlighted in the report sent by Adamfi focus on a new hard-line approach to doping, including the handing over of the IWF’s anti-doping programme to an Independent Testing Authority.

insidethegames understands that weightlifting’s Olympic status will be safe on the basis of the report, but that the sport will be put on probation.

IWF President Tamás Aján claims the world governing body has "done everything" it can.

"I set up two special commissions, the Clean Sport Commission and the Sport Programme Commission,” he told insidethegames here on the final day of the 2017 IWF World Championships.

"They work very well.

"The Clean Sport Commission has presented a good paper to the IOC Executive Board and I hope the Executive Board will value what we’ve done."

Russia is one of nine nations currently serving a one-year ban for multiple doping offences ©Getty Images
Russia is one of nine nations currently serving a one-year ban for multiple doping offences ©Getty Images

The Clean Sport Commission features five independent experts from laboratories, anti-doping agencies, and one of the world’s leading sports lawyers, the American Richard Young.

"I intentionally didn’t select people from the weightlifting family," Aján said.

"I selected people from different areas and experts, and I think what they are doing under the leadership of Richard Young will make for a good proposal to the IOC.

"Maybe this paper is not only for the IWF and would be good to keep for all sport organisations, identifying what they can do to stop doping."

A total of nine nations, including China and Russia, were missing from this year’s World Championships after incurring one-year bans for multiple doping offences.

Aján has vowed that the IWF will not hesistate to extend the suspensions of any banned nations that re-offend.

"Even in the future, if these nine countries or other countries do the same, I would like to make a very strict proposal to the IWF Executive Board that we extend the suspension times," he said.

"I have devoted my life against doping and I will continue to do so.

The Hungarian added: "I give a guarantee that in the future weightlifting will dramatically drop down in terms of the number of positive cases."

The 2017 IWF World Championships reached their conclusion today ©IWF
The 2017 IWF World Championships reached their conclusion today ©IWF

Aján also called for national federations to do more to help the IWF.

"I have emphasised it many times that too many things rest on the shoulders of the International Federations," he said.

On Sunday (December 3), IOC member Adam Pengilly gave his backing to weightlifting retaining its Olympic status but said he believes the sport should be kept on "quite a strict probation".

The Briton, speaking to insidethegames during a visit to the World Championships, warned that the IWF must guard against complacency.

The IWF Clean Sport Commission has held a number of meetings this year and, following an extensive analysis of the anti-doping efforts in weightlifting over the last 10 years, presented what the world governing body describes as its "innovative and pioneering" recommendations to the IWF Executive Board here.

The Commission determined that while significant improvements have been made in the IWF weightlifting programme since London 2012, there is scope to do a lot more work to combat doping.

Key recommendations of the Commission include contracting with the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport and collaborating with the Institute of National Anti-Doping Organisations and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to develop increased and more effective no notice out-of-competition testing in high-risk countries

Among the others is the implementation of new rules in the IWF anti-doping policy to send a clear deterrent message to countries that if they do not fulfil their anti-doping responsibilities to ensure that their athletes are clean, they will lose their right to participate in international competition for a period up to four years.

The latest instalment of the WADA legacy outreach programme was delivered at the World Championships here, showcasing a bid to raise awareness and promote clean sport to a generation of athletes.