Kieran Kidder, the man behind the WPC, WPO and APF powerlifting federations made an interesting announcement on GoHeavy yesterday. The offshoot of it is that six leaders of major American powerlifting organizations agreed to jointly host a unified national meet, simply called the United States Powerlifting Nationals, in Las Vegas in late fall 2005. Why? Well, to reach approval with the United States Olympic Committee. Here’s the chewy bits:
We have factual knowledge that the USOC/IOC have strongly considered powerlifting becoming an Olympic Sport. But there is one definitive factor that is preventing this from happening. That being the fragmented state of powerlifting in the USA with the over abundance of powerlifting federations. The powers that be who regulate potential new Olympic Sports have no idea who/what drug free powerlifting organization would represent America. That’s the bottom line!!
The only solution is to have a Unified National meet to put us in good graces with the USOC/IOC. The meet will be simply called the United States Powerlifting Nationals. For this to happen there will be changes that some lifters might not be used to depending on which of the 6 federations lifters have lifted in. There has to be one set of rules used to run the meet. We have been asked to use the IPF rules by the powers that be. This is in no way shape or form an IPF meet!! The IPF rules are just being used as guide to go by so this unprecedented event can take place. For the first 1-2 years single ply squat suits, bench shirts, grove briefs will be allowed(poly/denim only, no canvas). The gear is being allowed to get the ball rolling since gear is the norm in powerlifting presently. Keep in mind that if the IOC allows powerlifting to become an Olympic Sport there will be no supportive gear allowed. Just like the olympic lifters who are only permitted to wear, wrist wraps, minimal knee wrap, and a belt. Also there will be no mono-lift either. As far as the drug testing goes a totally neutral testing lab called WADA (Wolrd Anti Doping Agency) who oversees all olympic drug testing will handle the testing. The Presidents of the 6 federations will put together teams to represent their federation in this unified effort. Any lifter who hasn’t lifted in the 6 federations involved, can join one of the 6 federations if he/she wishes to be part of this awesome powerlifting movemnet. Just putting up total in the between now and the meet is all thats required. If your already a member of one of the 6 federations having done an official total in the past year is all thats required.
[my emphasis, spelling mistakes his]
This is great news, but the hurdles facing this project would appear to be both numerous and tall. It is no secret that the powerlifting elite relies heavily on drugs - the politically correct terms are enhanced or assisted lifting - to achieve nicely bending barbells, while generally being vocally for equipment often citing injury prevention as a key theme. Whatever the amount of support an Olympic branch of powerlifting would get or not get, the success of this project would help bring raw lifting to the fore (we all know how drug-free the Olympics are despite cautionary optimism from WADA). In the final analysis, equipped lifting is just a bit too kinky anyway. Don’t believe me? Take a look at this and that.
While on the topic of… enhanced… lifting, here’s something I don’t quite get. In the States, many renown lifters have been quite open about their steroid use, among them Louie Simmons (who back in 1998 stated that he has done anabolic steroids straight for 28 years without cycling), Mike Miller and the great Ed Coan. I respect their openness, but isn’t steroid use illegal in the States making these admissions of criminal guilt? Or are we to believe that they all have legal prescriptions? Perhaps you can’t prosecute based on them, but intuitively this appears about as wise as admitting theft or cocaine dealing online. I’ve never heard of any European lifter being this bold, but I stand to be corrected if you please.