FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Powerlifting America Threats to Lifters, Coaches, Officials

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 18, 2022

Powerlifting America Threats to Lifters and Former Lifters

(Anchorage, Alaska) Many of you are aware that Powerlifting America administrators are demanding that athletes, coaches, and officials resign their membership in USA Powerlifting to participate in their federation or in the IPF. The canned form letter given to each member who is being forced to resign states that they may not “be associated with” any organization that performs “unauthorized drug tests.” They would have you believe that this is a WADA rule, or an IPF rule. It is not. In fact, WADA rules state that non-signatory drug testing, such as those completed by USA Powerlifting, be recognized by WADA signatories if such testing meets some of the criteria as defined in the WADA Code or the International Standards for Testing, and that the signatories should “attempt to apply the decision in harmony with the principles of the Code (Comment to Section 15.3). Similar language exists in the IPF Anti-doping Rules.

The words “unauthorized drug tests” do not appear in the WADA Code nor the International Standard for Results Management (ISRM 2021).

There is no language in the code that suggests that athletes cannot be drug tested by non-signatories to the Code, in fact, just the opposite. Section 15.3 and the associated comment 96 specifically addresses drug testing by non-signatories: To summarize, this section means that Signatories to the Code (IPF) should apply decisions made regarding drug testing results of a non-signatory (USA Powerlifting).

15.3 Implementation of Decisions by Body that is not a Signatory. An anti-doping decision by a body that is not a Signatory to the Code shall be implemented by each Signatory if the Signatory finds that the decision purports to be within the authority of that body and the anti-doping rules of that body are otherwise consistent with the Code. 96

96 [Comment to Article 15.3: Where the decision of a body that has not accepted the Code is in some respects Code compliant and in other respects not Code compliant, Signatories should attempt to apply the decision in harmony with the principles of the Code. For example, if in a process consistent with the Code a non-Signatory has found an Athlete to have committed an anti-doping rule violation on account of the presence of a Prohibited Substance in the Athlete’s body but the period of Ineligibility applied is shorter than the period provided for in the Code, then all Signatories should recognize the finding of an anti-doping rule violation and the Athlete’s National Anti-Doping Organization should conduct a hearing consistent with Article 8 to determine whether the longer period of Ineligibility provided in the Code should be imposed. A Signatory’s implementation of a decision or its decision not to implement a decision under Article 15.3, is appealable under Article 13.]

IPF anti-doping rules have similar language to address testing by a non-signatory. In summary, IPF is required to attempt to apply drug testing decisions made by a non-signatory who is in some respects Code compliant (which USA Powerlifting is, as our rules specifically adopt the Prohibited list).

72 [Comment to Article 15.3: Where the decision of a body that has not accepted the Code is in some respects Code compliant and in other respects not Code compliant, IPF, other Signatories and National Federations should attempt to apply the decision in harmony with the principles of the Code. For example, if in a process consistent with the Code a non-Signatory has found an Athlete to have committed an anti-doping rule violation on account of the presence of a Prohibited Substance in the Athlete’s body but the period of Ineligibility applied is shorter than the period provided for in the Code, then IPF and all other Signatories should recognize the finding of an anti-doping rule violation and the Athlete’s National Anti-Doping Organization should conduct a hearing consistent with Article 8 to determine whether the longer period of Ineligibility provided in the Code should be imposed. IPF or other Signatory’s implementation of a decision, or their decision not to implement a decision under Article 15.3, is appealable under Article 13.]

What does this mean to athletes? It means that testing done by USA Powerlifting should be recognized. If it isn’t, perhaps it is out of concern that athletes NOT tested under the IPF umbrella may fail elsewhere.

Further, athletes are told that they will “have a target on their back,“ if they compete in Powerlifting America. USA Powerlifting does not care where you compete! We do not test you because you compete elsewhere. Athletes are placed in our Registered Testing Pool (RTP) whose performance merits testing. This includes lifts done either in USA Powerlifting or elsewhere. Athletes submit their whereabouts, which are used for testing. As long as you remain in the USA Powerlifting testing pool you are subject to testing. We are testing athletes who are under our jurisdiction, either by membership or who willfully remain in our RTP.

To be clear, an ‘unauthorized test’ would be in the event a non-approved entity outside of their organization tested for their organization. We are not testing for them, nor do we claim to be or have any association with them. With their logic, athletes would have to also refuse drug testing by employers as well since it is not done under ‘WADA’.

You may find it concerning that you are cautioned about associating with organizations that the IPF and its minions do not approve of. Imagine in America being told that we can’t talk to, associate with, or compete with someone. The Frantz v. IPF lawsuits turned on just these issues and the IPF’s ignoring it resulted in the IPF’s absence from the U.S. for two decades. Apparently, they do not appreciate the lessons of history.

For our part, we want to provide a positive lifter experience, a level playing field, and an environment where everyone who is drug free can participate. At USA Powerlifting, we don’t have to threaten athletes, coaches, and officials to keep their loyalty. We will simply provide a better experience and continue to improve.

REINSTATEMENT: To formalize our belief in decisions to participate without threats, we offer reinstatement to any athlete who has resigned under duress during the same calendar year AT NO COST. If you have been forced to resign, you are welcome back into our family.

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