International Weightlifting Federation to delay upcoming elections due to legal technicality

The decision to delay the elections further complicates the sports future in upcoming Olympic Games.

Hampton Morris (USA) el pesista más destacado del Mundial sub 17 en Jeddah (IWF)
Hampton Morris (USA) el pesista más destacado del Mundial sub 17 en Jeddah (IWF)

The upcoming International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) elections will not take place as scheduled on December 20-21 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan; it was announced by the IWF in a press release.

According to the press release the elections were postponed following a meeting by the Executive Board. The reasoning for the postponement is because the legal foundations for the elections had not been fully complied. No new date for the elections has been announced.

The IWF Legal Commission found the composition of the IWF’s independent Ethics and Disciplinary Commission had not been ratified by the IWF Congress. The IWF Legal Commission felt the Ethics and Disciplinary Commission could therefore not properly constitute the Eligibility and Determination Panel required to vet candidates for the election.

Ursula Papandrea, one of the 11 candidates for the IWF presidency and a former interim president, blasted the decision to delay the elections.

“Those responsible for continually seeking to delay and deny the opportunity for fair and transparent elections are pushing our great sport closer to the abyss of Olympic program exclusion, and shattering the dreams of millions of young athletes for whom the Games are the ultimate prize.”

Weightlifting in the Olympics has come under intense scrutiny over the past decade due to extensive doping, and International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach has strongly hinted the sport’s future is the Games is not guaranteed if the IWF fails to clean up their sport.

In fact, the IOC Program Commission is scheduled to meet November 30 with two more Executive Board meetings to follow before the end of January, to determine the lineup for Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028.

The IWF said they will hold a General Congress with all other points on the agenda in December.

“The IWF is fully committed to good governance and that’s why we adopted a new constitution with near unanimity, said IWF Interim President Mike Irani. “It’s important we implement this new governance carefully and in a way that will withstand any legal challenge.”