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  • Pyrros Dimas Running for IWF President


    03/09/21

    (ATR) An Olympic weightlifting legend throws his hat into the ring for president of the sport’s embattled federation.

    Pyrros Dimas wants to be IWF president. (Facebook)
    Pyrros Dimas, currently the Greek Weightlifting Federation president and a member of the International Weightlifting Federation Executive Board, announced his candidacy on Tuesday.

    He was one of 11 presidential candidates running in elections that were scrapped after the IWF released the draft of a new constitution last weekend. The federation acquiesced to the IOC request to hold elections after a new constitution is approved, not before as was previously scheduled.

    The constitutional congress is now planned for June with the electoral congress to follow, likely in October.

    “When the new IWF Constitution is in place and with confirmation of the next elections, it will be my greatest honor to stand for IWF Presidency. Our wonderful sport and its privileged place on the Olympic program is threatened and we must do everything in our power to ensure the essential reforms are implemented properly and urgently – as rightly guided by the International Olympic Committee,” Dimas said.

    A range of concerns involving doping and governance has the IOC threatening to pull weightlifting off the program of the 2024 Olympics in Paris if the federation doesn't get its act together.

    “The brand and reputation of Weightlifting have been tarnished by mismanagement, doping scandals and in-fighting. This must stop. With fresh leadership and a new approach we can set a new course for Weightlifting as a clean, revitalized and united sport," Dimas said.

    He wants to ensure that all stakeholders have a say in the federation.

    “My plan is to consult and listen to the views of as many National Federations as possible – it is vital that the future vision of the IWF addresses the needs of all our Members.

    “As an Olympian, I know how important it is for athletes to be heard so we must empower them with a proper voice. Without athletes, our sport is nothing so we must treat them with the respect they deserve.”

    Dimas added “my door is always open to hear feedback and learn new ideas”.

    He joins former IWF interim president Ursula Papandrea as an announced presidential candidate in the new elections. Both have ties to USA Weightlifting. Papandrea was president of the organization before resigning her position to take over as IWF acting president in January of 2020. She was removed in October 2020 by the IWF Executive Board and replaced on an interim basis by Michael Irani.

    Dimas is the technical director of USA Weightlifting.

    Written by Gerard Farek

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