The Presidents of the Iranian and Filipino national federations were among those to call for changes to the Anti-Doping Administration and Management System (ADAMS) as the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) held its Congress.
A total of 79 athletes from 27 countries who failed to log their own whereabouts on the global anti-doping database have been barred from the 2018 IWF World Championships, which are due to begin here in Turkmenistan's capital today.
The IWF has issued frequent warnings to athletes and their national federations about updating their whereabouts information on ADAMS, which is operated by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
Despite those warnings, which included public statements on the IWF website in June and September and monthly reminders, many athletes failed to comply and cannot compete here.
There have been changes in ADAMS which, according to many who are on it, is not user-friendly - especially in parts of the world where communications are difficult.
Iran Weightlifting Federation President Ali Moradi was the first to express his criticism of ADAMS, arguing that athletes who have a good history of being tested by WADA or their National Anti-Doping Organisation (NADO) should be granted extensions beyond the set deadlines.
"It is not fair to deprive an athlete who has always fully co-operated with a NADO or WADA before competition," he said in a pre-prepared speech following a presentation by the IWF's Anti-Doping Commission.
"As you know, more than 70 athletes have been barred from the 2018 World Championships and have been deprived of participating in the competition.
"This is a huge number.
"… reducing the number of participants is not the solution."
In response, Patrick Schamasch, chairman of the IWF’s Anti-Doping Commission, said: "Thank you for this presentation and this proposal.
"The role of the Congress is to present proposals and each proposal will be studied.
"We are all here together."
Also voicing his concerns over ADAMS was Philippine Weightlifting Association President Monico Puentevella, who stated that two of the country’s weightlifters had been prevented from competing at the 2018 IWF World Championships due to failing to log their own whereabouts.
According to Puentevella, one of the athletes missed the deadline by what he considered to be a short period of six days.
"What I’m saying is, if there are 79 lifters mentioned who got left behind, to sympathise with them," he said.
"I would like to request the IWF Anti-Doping Commission to look for a simpler way to do this because with WADA and ADAMS, sometimes it can be brutally, brutally hurtful to the athletes who have no qualms or no activities on doping."
Addressing IWF President Tamás Aján directly, Puentevella added: "While I commend the IWF Anti-Doping Commission, I still feel worried because of those 79, maybe half of them are innocent
"I understand that the hard-working [IWF] secretary general Mr [Mohamed] Jalood and our hard-working friend from Bangkok, [IWF first vice-president] Mr Intarat [Yodbangtoey], have a proposal and I agree with them to maybe improve the system.
"I don’t know how."
Lilla Sagi, the IWF’s junior legal counsel, responded by admitting that ADAMS is "not perfect", but insisted the Anti-Doping Commission is always trying to improve it to help athletes.
"If they communicate with us, which is the most important thing in this case, they can be safe," she said.
"And you said it’s only six days, but can you think about the other 600 athletes who are eligible?
"It would unfair for them because they are compliant with their obligation and these 78 athletes were not.
"As I said, and it was on the presentation, negligent behaviour is not what we can accept.
"But I also wish to mention that what the member federations can do to help us is to educate the athletes on how to do it and what their obligations are because they don’t know.
"That’s why we have to help the athletes and ask what do they need to know in order to be eligible and avoid all these problems.
"On the last day of the Executive Board meeting, Mr Jalood mentioned a really good idea that we should also include the continental federations into these problems and work out the communication with the federations.
"If at any time you have a suggestion in terms of how we can help, how we can make the system better, please come to us and tell us."
Although there was much condemnation of ADAMS, USA Weightlifting chief executive Phil Andrews was one of those to speak of his appreciation for the work done by the IWF to tackle the sport’s doping problems.
Last December, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) outlined four requirements the IWF need to meet to stay on the Olympic programme post-Tokyo 2020.
These are the full implementation of the recommendations from the Independent Clean Sport Commission and the Sport Programme Commission, the completion of the WADA code compliance monitoring programme and the submission of a questionnaire report on corrective actions.
The IWF delivered a report to the IOC in June detailing how it had met the criteria and now has to wait until the IOC Executive Board convenes for its meeting in Tokyo from November 30 to December 2 for a further update on its situation.
With weightlifting's place as an Olympic sport beyond 2020 under threat because of its past doping record, the IWF has introduced tough qualifying rules and a new anti-doping policy.
The 2018 IWF World Championships, which according to latest figures will feature 604 athletes from 88 countries, is the first qualifying event for Tokyo 2020.
"Thank you to Mr President [Aján] and the IWF Executive Board for the strong action the IWF has taken in the last year for clean sport and to protect clean athletes," Andrews said.
"I think on behalf of those athletes, it is tremendously appreciated what the Executive Board has backed, what the Clean Sport Commission has recommended and what these four people (the IWF Anti-Doping Commission) giving this presentation have done," Andrews said.
"I want to recognise that hard work and thank you on behalf of clean athletes worldwide.
"The Olympic qualification system significantly protects clean athletes and of course it’s vital that we strictly enforce whereabouts information because it’s how we test.
"We strictly enforce those rules now and in the future because any failure to do so will affect our reputation and our potential to be on the Olympic programme and also on the programme of other multi-sport Games."
Earlier this week, the IWF's newly-launched online anti-doping platform was introduced to Committee members with all athletes participating at the 2018 IWF World Championships having to complete its dedicated education course prior to competition.
The platform, entitled iLiftCLEAN, provides athletes with education on anti-doping rules.
It focuses on the topics of whereabouts, the doping control process and Therapeutic Use Exemptions.
"The new e-learning system is available to any federation, so it's a good way to educate your athletes, your coaches on exactly how to present the whereabouts information," Andrews added.
"Everything is in there."