Anaheim steps in as host of 2017 weightlifting world champs
BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) The 2017 weightlifting world championships have been moved to Anaheim, California, after the Malaysian city of Penang pulled out of hosting the event.
The International Weightlifting Federation said Wednesday it also awarded the 2019 worlds to Pattaya in Thailand.
The next worlds will be the second consecutive time the United States hosts the championships, which were last held in Houston in 2015.
Penang withdrew because of unspecified ''difficulties,'' the IWF said in a statement, without elaborating.
IWF president Tamas Ajan said the federation was grateful that ''Anaheim stepped in to host the world's biggest weightlifting competition of 2017.''
The championships will be held from Nov. 28 to Dec. 5 at the Anaheim Convention Center.
The IWF held two days of meetings in Penang, where congress delegates ''received an inclusive report praising the success of weightlifting at the Olympic Games.''
The entire Bulgarian and Russian weightlifting teams were banned from competing in Rio de Janeiro due to repeated doping cases, while several lifters - including medalists from Kyrgyzstan and Romania - failed tests either during or shortly before the games.
The IWF said it accepted an apology on behalf of the Iranian Weightlifting Federation, its lifter Behdad Salimi and his coach for their behavior in Rio.
Salimi, the 2012 Olympic champion in the 105-plus kilogram class, argued with judges when his attempts at clean and jerk were ruled invalid. He was following up a world record lift of 216 kilos in the snatch section of the competition.
The governing body ''accepted the apology and warned the Iranian Federation that such occurrences should not happen again.''
In a move toward gender equality, the governing body agreed to ''provide a minimum of two positions for women in the leadership'' in the roles of vice president and board member.