Ruslan Albegov is one of many top Russian weightlifters to have been banned for doping by the IWF ©Getty Images

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will target countries with bad doping records to help ensure a drugs-free weightlifting competition at Tokyo 2020.

Weightlifting remains on probation by the IOC and is not assured of remaining on the Paris 2024 programme unless its doping problems continue to be addressed.

This follows 24 positive tests at the 2015 World Championships and 49 in the re-testing of samples from the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games in Beijing and London respectively.

No announcement was made following the opening day of the latest IOC Executive Board meeting here over whether this "probation" status would remain unchanged, but details were announced about the 2020 competition in Tokyo.

Changes had been proposed by the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) itself before being approved by the IOC today.

The IOC made it clear that, while weightlifting will still lose 64 quota places at the Japanese Games, along with a male bodyweight category, these will be taken away from "those countries responsible for doping".

"It will not be to the detriment of National Olympic Committees (NOCs) who presented clean athletes," said IOC Presidential spokesperson Mark Adams today.

"It will be targeted and not across the board."

Adams also revealed that places will be allocated to specific qualified athletes in a change from the previous system of leaving it to a NOC to decide which athletes fills quota berths.

Disgraced Kazakhstan weightlifter Ilya Ilyin had taken advantage of previous qualification rules allowing him to compete sparingly ©Getty Images
Disgraced Kazakhstan weightlifter Ilya Ilyin had taken advantage of previous qualification rules allowing him to compete sparingly ©Getty Images

Olympic qualification will now take place over three distinct periods, with each eligible athlete required to compete at least once in each period.

Both of these requirements are designed to prevent athletes disappearing from competitions, presumably to engage in doping programmes away from drug testers, after securing their qualification.

Ilya Ilyin, for instance, the Kazakhstan weightlifter who has been retrospectively stripped of gold medals won at Beijing 2008 and London 2012 for doping, only competed at two IWF-events in the four years between his two "victories".

Two of China's Olympic champions last summer, Long Qingquan at 56 kilograms and Shi Ziyong at 69kg, competed in IWF-sanctioned events only three times each in the four years between 2012 and 2016.

Neither has faced a doping charge.

The world governing body was given a December deadline in June last year to deliver a "satisfactory" report to the IOC on how they will address the massive doping problem the sport is facing.

A new "hard-line" approach was supposedly unveiled, including the handing over of the IWF's anti-doping programme to the Independent Testing Authority as well as the planning behind reforms announced today.

The IOC then announced in December that they have requested a further report to be submitted in June 2018 to show the sport can implement its plans.