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WEIGHT LIFTING
This sport, which was already practised in Ancient times, only became an Olympic discipline in 1920 at the Antwerp games. The object is to lift progressively heavier metal weights, either from the ground, the snatch, or from the shoulder, clean and jerk. Until the 1972 games in Munich there was also a third type of lift called the press, which was abandoned so as to prevent the contestants injuring themselves. It was difficult to judge, and weightlifters could injure their backs. The effort required in weightlifting is considerable so over the years weightlifters took anabolic steroids so that they could lift progressively heavier weights. But those who cheated were punished severely, particularly at the Games. The sport was threatened with removal from the Olympic programme and the ruling bodies were obliged to clean it and institute regular medical checks. However, several members of the Romanian and Bulgarian teams tested positive at the Sydney Games. Since 1972, barbells and iron plates have replaced the traditional material. There are ten classes for men. At the Olympics this is an exclusively male sport. The reference to date in this discipline is the Russian weightlifter, Alexeiev.
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