Powerlifting Federation to push for Olympic status for sport


On July 10, 2021, Gordon Spencer was elected President of the Guyana Amateur Powerlifting Federation (GAPLF), replacing Ed Caesar, who did not contest the post after holding it for five years.

Among the priorities of the new Executive is to “clean up” the sport so that through the International Powerlifting Federation, the sport can gain Olympic status.

Powerlifting is not in the Olympics because the sport has yet to reach the criteria set by the International Olympic Committee. It requires more international participation, and it has many federations and disciplines that need to be standardised.

The presence of performance-enhancing substances in powerlifting will affect the likelihood of the IOC accepting the sport into the Olympics.

While no sports in the Olympics are 100% drug-free, there have been more issues with barbell sports than other sports.

The IOC is currently having issues with weightlifting, the only barbell sport in the Olympics, because some lifters have been competing using performance enhancers.

“We have to clean our sport up because for many countries doing powerlifting, a few are not clean. The IPF has asked us to clean our sport up, not Guyana particularly, but when we do that they will be new considerations to have us as a member of the IOC and Guyana wants to play it is part in doing drug testing programmes.”

Spencer said they plan to coordinate with the Regional Anti-Doping Agency, through Guyana Doping Control Officer, Dr. Karen Pilgrim, to see how they can commence the programme given its importance.

Structurally, the new President indicated there are systems that need to be implemented, one of which is a building for all the strength sports in Guyana (Bodybuilding, Weightlifting, and Powerlifting).

From an athlete perspective, it also about having partners to ensure nutrition and recovery are key aspects that they monitor.

At the elections, Spencer defeated former Public Relations Officer/Organising Secretary, Runita White, 17-5 for the top spot.

The other elected members are: Andrew Austin (Vice-President), Roger Rogers (General Secretary), Candace Lam (Treasurer), Mark Seymour (Public Relations Officer/Organising Secretary), and Committee Members: Thruston Pearce, Franklyn Brisport-Luke and Brian Sukhdeo.

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