The 2006 USA Weightlifting World Team
This is a little montage of the members of the 2006 USA World Team. They will compete in Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) next week. This world championship event is very important, as it is the initial competition for team slots for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. The US is hoping to score big points on the women's side and field a full team (4 athletes) for the 2008 Olympics.
The men have a tough road ahead of them, but may benefit from many recent positive drug tests at the European Championships. In fact, the Iranian team had 9 lifters (all male I presume) test positive and the entire team was banned from competing next week. The US could score some higher places and needed points if we do well. Our athletes face a very challenging task, competing against some teams and federations who expertly and systematically apply doping science and practice.
In a fine show of the political cesspool of elite international sport, the current superheavyweight world and Olympic champion, Hossein Reza Zadeh of Iran, was personally invited to compete this week by the the IWF Feds after his team was banned. You see, the International Weightlifting Federation wants the world to see the best of the big boys compete, regardless of the rules. These bad boys are the big show--like the sprinters in track & field--their feats of absolute power jazz the crowds and draw television and sponsor attention. Apparently Reza Zadeh tested negative. But nine of his teammates did not??? Right....