Halil Mutlu (born Halil Aliev (Bulgarian: Халил Алиев) on July 14, 1973 in Postnik, Bulgaria) is a professional Turkish weightlifter with several World and Olympic championships. Mutlu is one of the four weightlifters achieving three consecutive gold medals at the Olympic Games. His weightlifting career includes five World championships, nine European championships and more than 20 world records at 52 kg (115 lb), 54 kg (119 lb) and 56 kg (123 lb) combined.
In 1994, he won both the European and world championships, titles that would soon become commonplace for him. He made his first Olympic appearance in 1992 in the 52 kg category and finished fifth. In 1996, in the 54 kg category, the reigning world champion and world record holder, Mutlu broke the world record in the snatch and went on to win the gold medal by 7.5 kg. At the 1999 World Championships he beat silver medal winner Adrian Jigău by around 20 kg and set a new world record. He remained undefeated until the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, where he was even more dominant than he had been in Atlanta. This time he set world records in both the snatch and the clean and jerk and won by 17.5 kg in the 56 kg category.
He was suffering from a shoulder injury in 2003 and temporarily moved to the 62 kg class. His career appeared in doubt after a torn right rotator cuff and ruptured biceps tendon sidelined him for most of 2002.
Mutlu dominated in his weight class since mid-1990s. By the time of the Athens Olympics in 2004, Mutlu won the world championship five times, although he had missed the 2002 season because of injury. In Athens he out lifted Meijin Wu of China by 5 kg in the snatch and then extended his lead in the jerk to earn victory by 7.5 kg. At 31, he captured his third consecutive gold medal at the Olympics in Athens.
In 2005, Mutlu was banned from international competition by the International Weightlifting Federation for 2 years for use of anabolic steroidNandrolone, although he insists that he never knowingly took steroids. The Turkish Weightlifting Federation itself had been suspended by the IWF for "repeated anti-doping violations" until May 2006. He pulled out of the 2008 Beijing Olympics stating that he was not able to "lift my targeted weight in practice." As a penalty, he was expelled from the ASKI.
Mutlu is married and has lived in Ankara, Turkey since the early 1990s. He is a member of the Konya Kombassan Club in Konya and is coached by Ibrahim Elmali. Beside weightlifting, Mutlu enjoys wrestling.
^Kepcetutan, Necmi (2008-08-30). "Spor". "Şampiyona ayıp oldu". Milliyet (in Turkish). Retrieved 2008-08-30. "Pekin’e hazır olmadığı ve sakatlığını gerekçe göstererek katılmayan rekortmen halterci Halil Mutlu ASKİ kulübünden kovulduğunu rastlantı sonucu öğrendi."