The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has issued a decision to keep the Bulgarian Weightlifting Federation (BWF) banned from entering the next Olympic Games.

In November 2015, the President of the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) banned the BWF from entering the next Olympic Games and issued a fine of $500,000 after finding 11 of its athletes had violated anti-doping rules. The next month, the BWF made an appeal to the CAS for this decision to be annulled.

The parties agreed to an expedited procedure and a hearing  was held on 25 January 2016. During this, Professor Dr Martin Schimke – appointed as Sole Arbitrator – found that the IWF President did not have jurisdiction to issue the fine. This was a matter for the Executive Board only and the fine was set aside. Nevertheless, it was found that since the pre-condition for imposing the Olympic ban was complied with, 9 or more athletes having committed anti-doping rule violations within a single sporting season, the decision to ban the BWF from entering the next Olympic Games was upheld.

An Arbitral Award will be issued shortly. To read the CAS media release, click here.