(ATR) Greek weightlifting legend Pyrros Dimas decides not to quit the Executive Board of the International Weightlifting Federation but to stay and fight for reforms from within the IWF.
Pyrros Dimas trained Uganda's Hamdan Lutaaya Sserwanga at Buenos Aires 2018 (IWF)
Dimas, the most decorated Greek athlete in the Olympic Games, revealed his intentions on his social networks.
“Following the current situation within the governance of International Weightlifting Federation, as an Olympian and former IWF Athletes Commission Chairman I have serious doubts about the future of weightlifting, considering that so many concrete actions of reform are necessary in many areas, most importantly in anti-doping and governance," said Dimas, considered among the best weightlifters of all time.
Also involved in the politics of his country as a member of the Greek Parliament (2012-2015), Dimas was a three-time gold medalist at the Olympic Games in Barcelona, Atlanta and Sydney. Despite a knee injury, he won bronze at the Athens Olympics. He was three times world champion. In 2017 he was hired as USA Weightlifting's technical director.
"In the recent days I have seriously considered stepping down from the existing IWF Executive Board," Dimas said. "However, as an athlete I learned that especially under pressure ”giving up” is not an option.
"I will continue my term on the Executive Board, but I want to make clear that my mission will be to hold my fellow Board members accountable in their conduct, which above everything should be respectful to and beneficial for our sport’s athletes.
Dimas won bronze medal despite injury at Athens 2004 (ATR)
"I strongly feel that my mission and responsibility now is to do everything I can to ensure that the sport will offer fair opportunities to all the elite Athletes who are training so hard to qualify for the Tokyo Olympic Games.
"Also bearing in mind the young children, the future Athletes who just started lifting with the desire to be Olympic Champions in Paris, Los Angeles and beyond; we should not disappoint them.
"So during these critical times I decided to remain and continue to add pressure for reforms and uphold the Athletes' interests and needs. What the sport needs now is unity and constructive support from all stakeholders, Athletes, leaders, Member Federations, Technical Officials, media, sponsors, volunteers and fans.
"I call the weightlifting family to remain united, show solidarity and do everything possible to restore the image of the sport with concrete actions of reform, embracing the current Olympic Standards and the values of the Olympic movement," concluded Dimas, who was born in Albania 49 years ago.
In the Executive Board, in addition to Dimas, who is the current president of the Greek national federation, are Olympic and world medalists such as Nicu Vlad of Romania and Karoliina Lundahl of Finland.
IWF sources have reported that more than 120 national federations have expressed their support for the holding of a Congress to reform the Constitution and to elect a new Executive Committee, from March 24 to 27, 2021 in Lausanne.
The IWF has 196 member federations of which 151 are active members.
For a week the IWF has been directed on an interim basis by the British doctor Michael Irani following the ouster of American Ursula Papandrea by the executive board amid rising concerns expressed by the IOC.
Homepage photo: Facebook (Pyrros Dimas)
Written by Miguel Hernandez
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