IWF postpones elections and prioritises constitution after IOC intervention
The International Weightlifting Federation has delayed its forthcoming elections as part of moves aimed at improving the administration and placating the International Olympic Committee.
The IOC and its president Thomas Bach have on several occasions claimed that weightlifting’s place in future Olympic Games is at risk, and the organisation’s director general Christophe De Kepper sent a letter last week outlining its concerns in areas including governance and anti-doping.
This has prompted the IWF to postpone the electoral and constitutional congresses that were scheduled for 26 and 27 March and 29 and 30 April, and reverse the order of the meetings so that the constitutional congresses are held first.
New dates and processes will be announced shortly.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the IWF executive board on Saturday, and the ruling body also moved to address the IOC’s concern at a lack of athlete representation in the running of the federation by approving a measure that will allow the chair and vice-chair of the athletes commission to vote at its meetings.
A letter to De Kepper, announcing the moves and published on the IWF website, stated that the executive board would “act further upon your letter under caption in consultation with the IOC and, as the case may be, other stakeholders concerned.”
It concluded that the federation “hereby expresses its appreciation to the IOC for its guidance and advice and hereby affirms the IWF’s commitment to a new era of good governance and transparency.”
It is thought that the change in the order of congresses will result in a new list of candidates being drawn up for the IWF presidential election.
As things stand, the list comprises every member of the executive board except those already guaranteed a seat as a president of a continental federation.
The list includes Michael Irani of the UK, the interim president, who took the helm last October pledging to oversee a reform process, after several changes of leadership in 2020.
The IWF has long been under the microscope because of its doping record, and has faced further scrutiny in the past year after an independent report showed that 40 positive tests from athletes were covered up, and that $10.4 million in income was unaccounted for, during the presidency of Hungarian Tamas Ajan who stepped down after 20 years in April (he was general secretary for the previous 24).