USA Powerlifting Goes International after the removal from the International Powerlifting Federation


November 7, 2021


USA Powerlifting Goes International after the removal from the International Powerlifting Federation 

Today USA Powerlifting is no longer a member of the International Powerlifting Federation [IPF]. The IPF President Gaston Parage called for an ‘Extraordinary’ Congress session in Stavanger, Norway to remove USA Powerlifting. The decision comes from a 2/3rds vote of the member nations that were present at the IPF. Of the 150+ member nations of the IPF, just 28 were present. And of those 28, only 23 voted to remove USA Powerlifting. 

The vote took place after USA Powerlifting Executives presented facts to the IPF Congress. These facts included raw data showing that USA Powerlifting performs 100% WADA tests of its National and International athletes and drug tests 18.9% of athletes at every level of competition, far exceeding any other member nation’s testing program. For example, in 2019 these tests numbered 3110 total tests, 720 WADA tests (206 in meet tests and 514 out of meet tests).

The IPF only focuses on a very small pool of international-level athletes for testing. Nations are expected to follow suit or simply not test at all. This is unacceptable to USA Powerlifting as testing is required at every level because all athletes deserve a clean platform. 

Pursuant to these facts, USA Powerlifting also proposed to follow the Olympic Model for testing. The Olympic model is currently in use across multiple IOC sports like hockey and basketball. Essentially, USA Powerlifting proposed to separate elite lifters at the world level from non-elite lifters at the local level. This is the same process whereby NBA athletes are not subject to WADA testing until they declare for the Olympic Games. They then enter the registered testing pool and follow WADA protocol. This system is proven, approved, and in place in other sports, yet the IPF denied this proposal and opted to remove USA Powerlifting completely.

This marks the first time in IPF history that a nation has been removed from the IPF for exceeding drug testing requirements. Past national suspensions have been for excessive doping. The list of nations suspended includes Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, India, Iran, and Uzbekistan. To reiterate, the aforementioned Federations were suspended for excessive doping failures and the IPF did not call for their removal from the IPF.

We are excited for our future now that we have been released from the rules and restrictions of the IPF. 

USA Powerlifting has the most exciting brand of powerlifting in the world and the world’s strongest drug-free powerlifting athletes. With our removal from the IPF, we now have the greatest opportunity in our history to transform the sport of powerlifting for both U.S. lifters and international lifters who want to compete with us. 

As always you can expect world-class venues, lighting, sound, and locations for USA Powerlifting events. We will be bringing all of this and a prize pool of $235,000 as we kick off the first year of the new Pro Series. 

The Pro Series competition structure is as follows:

USA Powerlifting Pro Card Status

    • Earn a Pro Card in Powerlifting (from 2021 Nationals)
      • Top 5 Open Raw Lifters (in each weight class) at Nationals
  • All lifters at 2021 Virginia Pro also earn Pro Card (one time rule)
      • Top 3 Open Equipped Lifters (in each weight class) at Nationals
    • Earn a Pro Card in Bench Press (from 2021 Nationals)
      • Top 3 Open at Nationals (in each weight class)
  • USA Powerlifting Pro Card is required to compete in the Pro-Series Events

Pro Series Categories:

  • Female Raw Powerlifting 
  • Male Raw Powerlifting
  • Female Equipped Powerlifting
  • Male Equipped Powerlifting 
  • Female Raw Bench Press
  • Male Raw Bench Press
  • Female Equipped Bench Press
  • Male Equipped Bench Press

Earning Points in the Series:

  • At a Pro Series event, you will earn points based on your overall placing in the best lifter rankings. You can accumulate points at the different Pro Series events. The specific scoring and points system details will be shared soon.

Qualifying for Arnold Finals:

    • Raw Powerlifting:
      • Points from 1 Pro Powerlifting Event + Points from Nationals (2 total events)
    • Equipped Powerlifting
      • Points from 1 Pro Powerlifting Event + Points from Nationals (2 total events)
    • Raw Bench Press:
      • Points from 1 Pro Bench Event + Points from Nationals (2 total events)
    • Equipped Bench Press:
      • Points from 1 Pro Bench Event + Points from Nationals (2 total events)
  • A lifter can compete in multiple pro series categories if they desire, based on the above criteria

2022 Pro Series Schedule:

December 2021 Virginia Pro

March 2022: Arnold Sports Festival

June 2022: Nationals – Las Vegas, NV

  • $1,000 for all Open Full Power Weight Class Winners (Raw & Equipped) + Best Lifter Bonus for (Lightweight / Middleweight / Heavyweight) 
  • Open Bench: Prize Money for Top 3 by Formula (Female Raw, Female Equipped, Male Raw, Male Equipped)

June 2022: UBU Expo (Formerly Europa Games) – Dallas, TX

July 2022: UBU Expo (Formerly Europa Games) – Orlando, FL

August 2022: UBU Expo (Formerly Europa Games) – Phoenix, AZ

December 2022: Virginia Pro (tentative)

March 2023: Arnold Sports Festival (Pro Series Finals) 

  • 20 Total Full Power / 20 Total Bench Press
    • Top point earners in the series invited to the Pro Series Finals at the Arnold Sports Festival:
      • Top 5 Female Raw
      • Top 5 Female Equipped
      • Top 5 Male Raw
      • Top 5 Male Equipped
    • Additional opportunities for top point earners will be shared soon.

Pro Series Finals – The Arnold Sports Festival – $65,000 in cash prizes + more

This is just the beginning of the new Pro Series. As the Pro Series progresses, we will have larger cash prizes, more incredible events, and innovative new approaches to the sport of powerlifting.

To all of our members, volunteers, and supporters; thank you for your 40+ years of belief in our purpose, values, and mission. Drug-free powerlifting will endure thanks to you.

To our brothers and sisters across the world who we have competed alongside, competed against, and forged incredible friendships with over the last 24 years; our drug-free platforms will always be open to you. We are confident that we will see each other on an international platform in the future!

USA Powerlifting remains committed to drug-free powerlifting at all levels of competition. Whether you compete at your local gym meet, State Championship, National or International championship, rest assured each event will be drug tested.