Egypt’s most decorated weightlifter of all time, Mohamed Ihab, announced his retirement on Tuesday after losing hope of competing in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, following the recent suspension of the Egyptian Weightlifting Federation.
“Yes, I decided to retire from weightlifting, thanks be to God,” Ihab said, without giving further details.
On 18 September, Egypt’s Olympics committee revealed that the country has been banned from participating in all activities of the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) for two years over an old doping case.
The ban relates to an incident in 2016 when seven Egyptian players failed doping tests during the 2016 Youth African Championships, held in Cairo.
In the wake of the ban, Egypt’s participation in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo has fallen into doubt, but the country’s Olympic committee vowed to do its best and take all possible legal action to resolve the problem.
“I decided to retire after Egypt’s recent ban. My target was to achieve a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics, but it is difficult to lift the ban,” Ihab, who secured the bronze medal at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016, told Egyptian sports website Filgoal.com on Tuesday.
“There is no reason to continue my career. It isn’t our fault. If a miracle happens and the ban is lifted, I will return immediately.
“I will concentrate on completing my masters and I will begin my coaching career,” he added.