Iran General NewsIran's 'Hercules' cleared to compete in Doha

Iran’s ‘Hercules’ cleared to compete in Doha

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Reuters: Twice Olympic champion Hossein Rezazadeh is clear to compete at the 15th Asian Games after Iran’s weightlifting federation agreed to pay a $400,000 fine imposed for doping violations. DOHA, Nov 30 (Reuters) -Twice Olympic champion Hossein Rezazadeh is clear to compete at the 15th Asian Games after Iran’s weightlifting federation agreed to pay a $400,000 fine imposed for doping violations.

The sport’s governing body (IWF) handed down the fine after nine Iranian lifters tested positive for doping in September, forcing Iran to pull out of the world championships in Dominican Republic.

While Rezazadeh, known as the “Iranian Hercules”, was not among those who tested positive, all of the country’s lifters faced a two-year ban from international competition if the fine was not paid.

The IWF said on its Web site the agreement had been reached after a seven-hour meeting between IWF President Tamas Ajan and Iran’s lifting federation president Bahram Afsharzadeh.

“The Iranian Weightlifting Federation paid 25 percent and will pay another 12.5 percent of the fine to the IWF before Dec. 3,” the IWF said, adding that the remainder would be paid in installments.

The federation said the suspensions on the nine lifters who tested positive would remain in place, but all other Iranian lifters were free to take part in international events.

Rezazadeh won Olympic gold in the 105kg category in Sydney (2000) and Athens (2004) and was named the World’s Best Weightlifter by the IWF in 2000, 2002 and 2004.

He will carry the flag for Iran at the Games opening ceremony on Friday.

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