An IPF Anti Doping Panel suspended USAPL for not sticking with the globally followed World Anti Doping Agency Guidelines. Following this announcement, no USAPL athlete can compete in the IPF events for 12 months. However, they can still participate in local, National or Pro events.
In the press release, USAPL said that they “are essentially being suspended for too much drug testing and not for doping violations”
“We are deeply disappointed in this decision by the IPF. Our hearts go out to our National Team members who have had the rug pulled out from under them,” the USAPL further said.
The announcement sparked debate from all sides. While some are praising USAPL for promoting “fairness” in sports others think that USAPL should comply with the WADA guidelines and need not burden athletes with additional doping tests.
On April 15, 2021, USAPL officially announced their disagreement in a lengthy social media post explaining their stance in the argument. As per USAPL, following WADA guidelines will bar any national federation from every aspect of testing. It is a problem as per USAPL because it prevents federations from giving inputs into who is tested (including records), bars them from attaining information like who is on TUE or Therapeutic Use Exemption for a substance like Testosterone and no result management.
Furthermore, the number of tests will decrease and the costs per test will also increase approximately 20x, according to USAPL.
Meanwhile, the counterargument to USAPL’s position is that it should follow WADA’s guidelines just like other countries do. USAPL shouldn’t run its separate anti-doping program as following a more universal standard leads to more fairness and greater consistency.
USAPL has already announced that the $200,000 cash reserved it had saved for IPF competitions will not get reallocated to its athletes.
The tussle between USAPL and IPF is quite old. In 2020, IPF did not recognise Ashton Rouska’s 331.5kg / 730lbs squat and 890kg / 1962lbs total in the 93kg / 205lbs weight class. Following which USAPL filed a complaint with the IPF Court of Justice. However, as per the IPF, for a record to become legit it needs to take place at an IPF sanctioned event.
No matter which side of the aisle you’re on we can all agree that the temporary divorce between USAPL and IPF is going to cost a lot of talented athletes their well-deserved chance.