Raise the Bar campaign exceeds all expectations

IPC Powerlifting's Raise the Bar anti-doping campaign reached hundreds of lifters from all over the world, climaxing at the 2014 IPC Powerlifting World Championships. 14 Apr 2014
Sherif Osman raise the bar

Paralympic legend Sherif Osman supports the Raise the Bar campaign

ⒸRichard Kalocsai

“A good lifter is pure. When an athlete competes pure he is a good sport. For me sport is only sport, no ‘I beat you, you beat me’.

IPC Powerlifting’s dedicated anti-doping campaign has reached more than 850 athletes and team officials in total, smashing the original target of 500 when the project was launched in October 2013, and reaching its climax at the 2014 IPC Powerlifting World Championships which concluded Friday (11 April).

Funded by the Agitos Foundation, Raise the Bar – Say No! to Doping’s fundamental aim was to reach out to athletes and their support networks at international competitions, giving them the opportunity to speak with and learn from experts with years of anti-doping knowledge and experience through education seminars.

Jon Amos, Chairperson of IPC Powerlifting's Sport Technical Committee said:

“The numbers of teams and people that we have through the doors of the seminars has been extremely encouraging.

“We hope that they have benefitted from what they have learnt so that in the long-term we can further reduce the numbers of athletes who dope, proving that we are taking the issue seriously and setting the standard high within our sport. We are totally committed and dedicated to this aim.”

At the World Championships in Dubai, UAE, alone, 364 athletes, coaches, doctors and support personnel from 50 different countries attended dedicated sessions across just two days. They then had the opportunity to take a quiz on what they had learnt and show their support for Raise the Bar by having their picture taken in front of banners and through branded merchandise.

The competition venue was also branded, including the competition bench.

Sergio Durand, Secretary General of the Mexican Paralympic Committee, took part in one of the seminars:

“The athletes told me that they found the seminars so useful.

“Education is important in all sports, not just in powerlifting. There are some athletes who want to take advantage but there are some who just need education, so it is absolutely crucial that they, as well as their coaches, have the opportunity to learn.”

Egypt’s Sherif Othman, who won the men’s -54kg world title on 6 April with four successive world record lifts, had this message for up-and-coming powerlifters:

“A good lifter is pure. When an athlete competes pure he is a good sport. For me sport is only sport, no ‘I beat you, you beat me’.

“No! If you beat me, I say ‘fair enough’.”

Education seminars were also run at the 2013 IPC Powerlifting Asian Open Championships in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the IPC Powerlifting Brazilian Invitational Championships in Fortaleza, Brazil, and at the IPC Powerlifting Hungarian Open Championships in Eger, Hungary, as well as a pilot project run at the 2013 IPC Powerlifting Open European Championships in Aleksin, Russia, in May.

Raise the Bar – Say No! to Doping was funded through the development arm of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), the Agitos Foundation, which in 2013 gave 630,000 Euros to development projects through its Grant Support Programme.

The 2014 IPC Powerlifting World Championships, featuring over 330 athletes from nearly 60 countries, concluded Friday (11 April) and saw world records set in 16 events across all weight categories.