Ali Jawad: On Russia’s Tokyo 2020 Ban And His Battle Against Crohn’s Disease To Break World Records

“When I was born the doctor wanted to kill me!”, Ali Jawad. Jawad, is a paralympic gold medalist and world record breaking powerlifter with Crohn’s disease. He has had to overcome many challenges in life. His motto: “Why be the…

Ali Jawad: On Russia's Tokyo 2020 Ban And His Battle Against Crohn's Disease To Break World Records



“When I was born the doctor wanted to kill me!”, Ali Jawad.

Jawad, is a paralympic gold medalist and world record breaking powerlifter with Crohn’s disease. He has had to overcome many challenges in life. His motto: “Why be the best when you can be the greatest?”. Ali’s competition personal best is 195kg but in the gym he has bench pressed over 200kg.

Ali Jawad, born as a double above the knee amputee, is a full time athlete, currently competing at 54kg in the qualifying rounds (final round end of April 2020) to participate in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. Although, Ali is one of the highest performing powerlifters in the world he can be taken down by Crohn’s disease at any time.

Ali took up powerlifting at the age of 16. He competed in the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London, finishing fourth. The following year he took gold at the Asian Open Championships making a world record lift of 185.5 kg.

He gained a world title at the 2014 World Championships in Dubai, won the European title and gold at the 2015 Americas Open Championships and at the 2016 Rio Games, Ali won silver and his first ever Paralympic medal for lifting 190kg.

More recently he claimed silver at the Tokyo 2019 World Para Powerlifting World Cup at the Tokyo 2020 test event.

He is famous across social media for his celebratory competition dances, some of which have “gone viral”. Revealed in this interview, a new dance is planned for Tokyo 2020.

Despite the pressure of living with Crohn’s disease, performing as an elite athlete with high levels of pain and challenges to control that discomfort, Ali is an anti- doping advocate and educator sitting on the UK Athletes Anti Doping Commission Board. He is one of the highest profile commentators in the athlete movement to ban doping.

This interview includes Ali’s comments relating to the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) ruling on 9 December 2019 which bans Russia from competing at Tokyo 2020. ideaXme was the first organisation to catch Ali for his reaction to ruling.

WADA ruling

On 9 December, the World Anti-Doping Agency’s Executive Committee (ExCo) endorsed the recommendation made by the independent Compliance Review Committee (CRC) that the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) be declared non-compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code (Code) for a period of four years.

Meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, the 12-member ExCo supported the CRC’s recommendation, which includes a series of strong consequences and conditions of reinstatement in accordance with the International Standard for Code Compliance by Signatories (ISCCS).

The Chair of the CRC, Jonathan Taylor QC, took ExCo members through the CRC’s recommendation, which had been provided to ExCo members on 25 November together with the report of WADA Intelligence and Investigations (I&I) and that of the independent forensic experts from Lausanne University’s Institute of Forensic Science.

“For too long, Russian doping has detracted from clean sport. The blatant breach by the Russian authorities of RUSADA’s reinstatement conditions, approved by the ExCo in September 2018, demanded a robust response. That is exactly what has been delivered today. Russia was afforded every opportunity to get its house in order and re-join the global anti-doping community for the good of its athletes and of the integrity of sport, but it chose instead to continue in its stance of deception and denial. As a result, the WADA ExCo has responded in the strongest possible terms, while protecting the rights of Russian athletes that can prove that they were not involved and did not benefit from these fraudulent acts”. WADA

Since the interview, WADA received the resignation of Victoria Aggar, a highly respected member of its own Athlete Committee, who said she was standing down after WADA broke its promises and failed to protect clean athletes.

Demand for The Paralympics 2020:

When it comes to tickets, next year’s Tokyo Paralympics will be just like the Olympics.

International Paralympic President Andrew Parsons announced on Tuesday this week that there were 3.1 million tickets requested earlier this year in the first lottery phase. This exceeds the 2.3 million available. About 600,000 tickets were awarded in the first lottery, and another lottery is set for early next year.

Follow ideaXme’s Tokyo 2020 playlist in the lead up to both the Olympics and Paralympics 2020. This interview is the first of many interviews with the top athletes who are set to take part.

Credits: Filming by Alan Johnson and Parth Kakkar Metfilm.

From 16 December 2019, interview transcript: This interview is dedicated to Michael Seres, founder of 11Health and ideaXme health ambassador who was supposed to interview Ali but is undergoing STEM cell treatment and chemotherapy for Crohn’s disease. Get well soon Michael!

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