(ATR) The IOC appears to have run out of patience with the International Weightlifting Federation.
IOC president Thomas Bach at virtual press conference on Wednesday
IOC President Thomas Bach, speaking after the latest Executive Board (EB) meeting on Feb. 24, said the situation with the IWF is “becoming more and more grave” and that the federation faces the possibility of being thrown out of the Olympic program if it doesn't act now to repair its governance and anti-doping failures.
“The EB expressed its extreme concern particularly by the lack of significant changes with regard to the management and the culture there in IWF,” Bach says.
“We acknowledged that one change in the IWF anti-doping rules has been reversed after the intervention of the executive board but we had also to note that many other requested changes otherwise from the IOC, from ITA, and from external experts have been ignored by IWF despite all the warnings we had issued.
“The EB wants to be very clear by saying that if these concerns are not addressed in a satisfactory and timely way the IOC EB will have to review the place of weightlifting on the program for the Olympic Games Paris 2024 and future Olympic Games,” Bach concludes.
The latest warning from Bach comes as the International Testing Agency (ITA) called for sanctions on the Romanian Weightlifting Federation after multiple Anti-Doping Rule Violations from London 2012. Romania faces up to a two-year suspension and fines and could miss out on competing at Tokyo 2020.
Thailand, a country banned from Tokyo 2020 for doping violations, lost a prominent candidate in the IWF elections scheduled for March 26-27.
The current IWF 1st Vice President Major General Intarat Yodbangtoey withdrew his candidacy for both another term in that position and for vice-president.
His decision comes as the eligibility of IWF candidates is currently being examined on the basis of comprehensive criteria.
“It is with some regret that the IWF has accepted the withdrawal of Major General Yodbangtoey’s candidature, with his tenure on the IWF Executive Board drawing to a close in a month’s time. We are grateful for his service. Having worked with Intarat for many years, I have appreciated his company and now appreciate his courage in doing what is best for our sport,” said IWF Interim President Michael Irani.
“In doing the right thing, Major General Yodbangtoey has clearly set an example of putting weightlifting first.”
Sorenstam Returns to Competitive Golf
Annika Sorenstam (Flickr)
New International Golf Federation president Annika Sorenstam isn't spending a lot of time in the office so far.
She returns to competitive golf for the first time in 13 years on Thursday at the Gainbridge LPGA event being held literally in her backyard. Her house borders the 16th hole at the Lake Nona Golf and Country Club in Orlando, Florida.
The 10-time major winner played in the celebrity division at the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions event last month.
Sorenstam, who turned 50 last October, plans to compete in this summer’s U.S. Senior Women’s Open.
She won 90 tournaments worldwide, including 72 on the LPGA tour, before retiring in 2008.
She took over as IGF president on January 1 after being elected to succeed Peter Dawson in December.
Batra Seeks Second FIH Term
Narinder Batra (Flickr)
International Hockey Federation (FIH) president Narinder Batra announces a bid for a second term with nominations ending March 12. Batra also serves as president of the Indian Olympic Committee.
“In the last four years, I have done my best and put all my energy to enable FIH to fulfil its missions – in particular the development of hockey globally — add new objectives and steadily improve its management for the good of hockey.” said Batra, the federation's 12th president, in a statement.
The FIH is scheduled to hold its world congress in New Delhi in May, though that could be changed to a virtual format due to COVID-19.
Written by Gerard Farek and Greer Wilson
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