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Effort needs to be lifted to cut out doping believes Coffa

5 December 2016

WEIGHTLIFTING: Oceania Weightlifting Federation General Secretary Paul Coffa believes enough is enough when it comes to the sport he has dedicated his life to and doping.

Speaking openly in the Oceania Weightlifting Federation’s December newsletter, Coffa has declared the sport needs to be cleaned up or it will be left with no integrity whatsoever.

“These doping federations have to realise, that there is no place for them in our sport, if they don’t play the game clean and fair.”

“The rest of the world is not stupid. We know exactly what is happening and we know that this cheating has been going on for years and years. Like cockroaches -  you see one or two on top of the carpet but you can be guaranteed that when you lift that carpet there are hundreds of them.”

Coffa believes that a tougher stance needs to be taken against these cheats.

“The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) is taking a strong stance currently and it took a strong stance in the past, by applying heavy monetary penalties and individual disqualification and suspensions. But it appears that these weightlifting Federations have no difficulties in paying these heavy monetary penalties.    

“So, what is the alternative? Are the sanctions that the IWF apply enough? Obviously not, because they keep reoffending and it is getting worse. Doping is like cancer. It is ruining our life and ruining our sport.  

“So sanctioning the lifters, sanctioning the clubs to which the lifters belong, sanctioning the coaches who are coaching these lifters and sanctioning the national federations, to the point where they are even suspended from participating at the Olympic Games – maybe this is the answer. The question is, how many positives should warrant these type of actions – one, two or three maximum?”

Coffa’s strong stance has the full support of the Australian Olympic Committee who has long championed clean sport free of doping.

“Paul’s sincerity and frustration with what's been allowed in his sport for so long is so very clear,” said AOC president John Coates.

“It serves as motivation for all of us to continue our fight to beat this the greatest scourge of modern sport.”

Coffa has been a part of the Olympic movement for many decades and famously coached Dean Lukin to gold at the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games.

He has spent many years throughout Oceania helping strengthen the sport in the region. 

Matt Bartolo

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