ASHGABAT: Iranian Olympic champion weightlifter Sohrab Moradi broke the longest standing world record in the sport to win gold at the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games on Saturday.
Moradi, who returned from a two-year doping ban to win gold in the 94 kilogram division at last year’s Rio Olympics, set a new world record of 413 kilograms for the combined total.
"I have worked very hard and devoted my life to weightlifting, training non-stop three times a day. I allocate my time only to weightlifting, nothing else. This is the secret of my success," he told reporters.
"The world record is the result of these efforts. One of my goals in life was to win Olympic gold because this is very important for every athlete.
"Another goal was to break the world record and I have done that... it was one of my wishes this year."
The 29-year-old successfully lifted 185kg in the snatch then summoned up all his remaining strength to hoist 228kg in the clean and jerk after failing with his first attempt at 220kg.
His combined lift broke the previous record of 412kg, set by Akakios Kakiasvilis of Greece at the 1999 world championships, held in Athens.
It was the longest surviving world record in the sport after the International Weightlifting Federation twice reset its weight classes in the 1990s in an effort to wipe the slate clean after a spate of positive drug tests in the sport.
Moradi himself served a two-year suspension after testing positive for the painkiller methadone in 2003, but has always maintained his innocence.
The Rio Olympic event he won was heavily overshadowed by a doping scandal after Polish brothers Adrian and Tomasz Zielinski were both withdrawn for failing drugs tests.
Adrian Zielinski, a 2012 Olympic champion, tested positive for the anabolic steroid nandrolone just three days after his brother Tomasz suffered the same fate.
Kazakhstan’s double Olympic champion Ilya Ilyin, who won the 94kg gold at London and Beijing, also missed Rio after a positive drug test.