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  • No Holiday Break for Weightlifting Fed


    (ATR) There is little time for relaxation at the end of this year for those who are working on the reforms for the International Weightlifting Federation.

    Weightlifting is under pressure from the IOC to fix governance and anti-doping issues.(Global Athlete)
    The deadline for the IWF’s Reform and Governance Commission to present a new constitution and bylaws is January 22, which will give federation members about two months before deciding whether to approve it at the Constitution and Electoral Congresses scheduled for late March.

    IWF interim president Michael Irani, in his end of year message, said the commission “is making remarkable progress” toward its goal while adding that for some "the deadlines we have set for reform mean a busy end of year".

    Since he took over in October, Irani and the IWF have been working to quell International Olympic Committee concerns about both governance and anti-doping efforts in the sport.

    The IOC said earlier this month it took into account those issues when it reduced weightlifting’s quota for Paris 2024 to 120, 76 fewer than Tokyo 2020 and 140 fewer than Rio 2016. IOC Sports Director Kit McConnell added that weightlifting is not confirmed in the Paris program and “the IOC Executive Board continues to reserve the right to further review the place of weightlifting in Paris as things move forward”.

    Irani highlighted the efforts made since October, which include extending the IWF’s anti-doping partnership with the International Testing Agency (ITA) through 2024. The ITA will investigate allegations made against the IWF by the McLaren Report in June and by WADA.

    Michael Irani, IWF interim president (IWF)
    A Disciplinary and Ethics Committee composed of independent experts has been created and Irani said it “is already almost operational”.

    Amid all of the changes, the IWF also plans to move its full operations from Budapest to Lausanne.

    The IWF is currently looking to hire an additional lawyer who will, among his main duties, provide legal advice to IWF management and other departments in accordance with Swiss law.

    The federation tells Around the Rings “The IWF is bringing on further legal resources, to add to the expertise we already have. It is important to us not only to reform our governance, but to maintain the highest standards thereafter. We are not yet sure what shape the reforms generated by widespread consultation and led by independent experts will take. But we do want to make sure we also have a strong in-house team to support the changes. And this hire will also help us consolidate the shift of the IWF office to Lausanne.”

    Irani, in his end of year message, said “We should also be under no illusion as to the hard work that lies ahead and the obstacles we must overcome. For example, we must make arrangements so that the Congresses can take place regardless of travel restrictions. We will also need widespread cooperation. For example, Professor McLaren has yet to release the second part of his report to the ITA, the Disciplinary and Ethics Commission or the independent members of the Reform and Governance Commission, despite being asked to do so.

    “I am confident the obstacles can be overcome, despite the ambitious nature of the scope of work we have established and the deadlines we have set.”

    Around the Rings receives support from the International Weightlifting Federation. ATR is solely responsible for all content.

    Written by Gerard Farek

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