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  • Weightlifting Fed Hits Reset on Elections


    02/28/21

    (ATR) A new list of candidates would be one of the immediate effects of the reaction of International Weightlifting Federation to the latest yellow card shown by the IOC.

    Meeting Feb. 27, the IWF Executive Committee decided to postpone the Electoral and Constitutional Congresses scheduled in the next two months. The meeting was suddenly called to respond to a critical letter from IOC Director General Christophe De Kepper sent a few days earlier. In the letter De Kepper notes a range of concerns involving doping and governance. He indicates that the place of weightlifting on the program of the 2024 Olympics in Paris is at stake.

    It’s a warning IOC President Thomas Bach has publicly delivered twice this year already.

    In direct response to the IOC criticism, the IWF leadership hit the reset button on plans to elect new officers in March and adopt a new constitution a month later.

    Now the IWF will vote first on the new constitution. That means candidates for president and other posts will be elected under new rules instead of the current ones which are under attack by the IOC.

    The change will scuttle the list of 11 candidates who had filed to run for the IWF presidency. Whether those 11 will resubmit their nominations isn’t certain.

    "Surely a new presentation of the candidatures for the new Executive Committee will be called because with the new Constitution will come other eligibility criteria," a source close to this process told Around The Rings.

    "Therefore, the national federations have to be given the opportunity to present new candidates and the previous list remains without effect," said the expert.

    The aforementioned list of 11 candidates for the presidency, which includes the current interim president, Michael Iraní, had been the center of criticism for the number of candidates. And none of them have been scrutinized by an Independent Eligibility Determination Commission which was named only this weekend.

    The IWF said that the decisions of dates for both Congresses are still to be determined. Also to be resolved is the question of a virtual meeting or a hybrid gathering that includes delegates meeting in person as well as online. Some important national federations for weightlifting such as the U.S., Great Britain and Germany have objected to the hybrid concept as unfair to those nations unable to attend.

    The dates and meeting format "will be taken as soon as possible" and "will be communicated in due time," says an IWF statement.

    Istanbul, Turkey, had originally been selected, pending the epidemiological situation and travel restrictions.
    It is not clear yet whether the elections could be held before the Tokyo Olympics to open on July 23. The new IWF constitution calls for the electoral period to run for 120 days from start to finish.

    A forthcoming draft, which will be submitted to a “universal” consensus, must establish the mandates, new positions, changes in the number of positions, the renewal of positions through the rotating system, age limits and contemplate vetoes to candidates, all a series of considerations in tune with the IOC requirements.

    The IWF Executive Board also approved that the President and Vice-President of the Athletes Commission, in this case Sarah Davies (Great Britain) and Forrester Osei (Ghana), have the right to vote at Executive Committee meetings.

    In a letter to De Kepper, Acting President Michael Irani and Secretary General Mohammed Jalood thanked the IOC "for its guidance and advice". The IWF officials reaffirmed “a commitment to good governance and transparency ”.

    Reported by Miguel Hernandez. For general comments or questions, click here.
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