News Olympic Weightlifting

Following Turkey’s withdrawal due to doping concerns, Bulgaria is eager to host the European Weightlifting Championships

Next February, the 2024 European Weightlifting Championships will be held in a different country instead of Turkey.

The decision to withdraw as hosts was made because of doping concerns, as three athletes from Turkey had been temporarily suspended for doping. Turkey may forfeit part or all of its Olympic quota spots for the Paris 2024 Games, in view of the fact that the European Championships serve as a qualifying competition.

Two countries — Bulgaria and Poland — have already expressed interest in serving as hosts, and Armenia, which successfully hosted this year’s continental championship, is reportedly considering it as well.

The 2023 European Weightlifting Championships in Yerevan, Armenia

Following a board meeting, the European Weightlifting Federation (EWF) established a one-week deadline for additional parties to submit the bids.


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According to the President of the Bulgarian Weightlifting Federation Arif Majed, the government is “very strongly supporting” the candidacy from the nation’s capital, Sofia. “The Government has already stated that it is committed to assisting us, and since weightlifting is a popular sport in Bulgaria, this would be the country’s first-ever Olympic qualifying competition. This is an exceptional occasion and remarkable privilege for the Federation.”

The Board voted to accept Turkey’s letter of withdrawal and to adopt the International Weightlifting Federation’s (IWF) decision to permit Belarus athletes to participate in the status of Individual Neutral Athletes. This change in the EWF’s stance for the July continental age-group championships could complicate matters for Poland, which does not grant Belarusians visas due to their nation’s backing for Russia in its war with Ukraine.

More than 20 years have passed since Bulgaria last held a significant weightlifting event. On October 9, the day after the Mediterranean Cup concludes in Malta, EWF President Antonio Conflitti and EWF General Secretary Milan Mihajlovic will travel to Sofia. Conflitti remarked, “We cannot take any risks and we need to check all the conditions.”

One of the famous Boglarian weightlifters, Karlos Nasar.

His own country, Moldova, was originally mentioned as a potential candidate but will now put in a bid for the 2025 European Championships. Similar to Armenia, Bulgaria has a great history in weightlifting and is able to fill the seats with weightlifting fans.

Arif Majed took control of the Bulgarian Weightlifting Federation after a loud conflict with the former President Nedelcho Kolev. Bulgarian National Federation was “lost in space” during a time of decline, according to Majed.

A prominent entrepreneur Arif Majed says he has plans to set up a training facility at the hotel where the athletes will stay. His company owns hotels, duty-free shops, and fast-food franchises.

Karlos Nasar, a weightlifting legend from Bulgaria who broke world records as a teenager, is one of the biggest names in this sport. For Paris, Nasar is a strong medal contender in the 89 kg category and is expected to recover enough to lift by February. Currently Nasar is rehabilitating from an Achilles injury.

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Tanya Shaiko

Author: Tanya Shaiko
News Editor, Olympic Lifting Enthusiast

Oly Lifting Experience: 6 years
Best ResultsSnatch – 61 kg,
C&J – 78 kg

I’m Tanya, and I just can’t do without fitness. About six years ago, I got into Olympic weightlifting and instantly fell in love with it. Weightlifting is like no other sport – it’s just you versus the bar. Driven by my unwavering passion for an active lifestyle, I’ve been eager to share my personal journey and sports enthusiasm with others. As a journalist and photographer, my interests come full circle, adding an extra dimension to the news column that I curate. This way, I keep my readers updated with the latest happenings in the sports world.

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