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Weight Lifting

Egyptian Olympian Weight Lifting Coach Counts Himself Blameless In Teen Doping Scandal

Khaled Korany, one of most respected international weight lifting coach, who has helped weightlifters from Egypt and Saudi Arabia win medals at the highest level of the sport has denied any involvement in the teenage doping scandal that led to Egypt being banned from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Khaled Korany, who is currently head coach of the Tunisia Olympic team, has this say.

“I am not stupid to give athletes this prohibited substance, especially since it is known that it remains in the body for months.”

“Why would I risk my name and my reputation as a coach for a weak championship?” said Korany. 

“Why put the name of Egypt at risk after the successes achieved in London and Rio?

“The issue is a conspiracy to tarnish the image of the Egyptian Federation, but the cause of it has not been revealed. 

“This news has caused extreme anger among everyone in Egypt due to the lack of knowledge of who is responsible.”

Seven young Egyptians tested positive for methandienone at a training camp before the African Youth and Junior Championships in Cairo in the last few weeks of 2016. 

Two of them were 14-year-old girls and three others were aged 16 and 17.

The Independent Member Federations Sanctions Panel, which was set up by the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF), suspended Egypt for two years last September and imposed a fine of $200,000 ($163,500/€183,000).

In a report that was leaked on social media last week, the Panel said the role of Korany, and other unnamed coaches and support staff, had not been properly investigated by the Egyptian Weightlifting Federation (EWF).

The Panel was “very troubled” that seven young athletes were punished with four-year suspensions while no coaches, medical staff or other officials had been held responsible.

“What has happened to these young athletes is very bad,” Korany told insidethegames. 

He said the accusations levelled against everybody working with the team in 2016 – coaches and EWF officials – had caused irreparable damage to Egypt’s reputation, while the guilty party was still unknown.

Korany’s explanation is that, during a time of bitter division within the EWF, a third party was paid by somebody to “doctor” food consumed by the young athletes with illegal drugs.

“Severe differences arose on the Board, which was split on all decisions,” he said. 

“There were many problems and complaints in the media.

“There is a high possibility that one of the members paid an athlete, coach or someone else to put something in food or supplements, but no-one could prove that. 

“It is a dirty war.”

The purpose, he said, would have been to discredit the EWF President Mahmoud Mahgoub, who was seeking re-election.

Mahgoub, who sits on the Executive Board of the IWF, lost control of the national federation when its administration was taken over by Egypt’s National Olympic Committee seven months ago.

The NOC stepped in after another doping scandal, when six of Egypt’s team at the African Games in Morocco last August tested positive, including the Rio 2016 medallist Sara Ahmed.

Korany was in his third and final year as technical director of Saudi Arabia’s team by then.

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