Russians win their appeals to be included in upcoming IWF elections

The Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld the appeals of three Russian officials ahead of IWF elections this weekend.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has ruled in favor of three Russian officials who were originally barred from this weekend’s International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) elections.

The appeals by Maxim Agapitov, an IWF board member, Dmitry Chernogorov and Aleksandr Kishkin were all upheld by the CAS. The three Russians were excluded last month from the elections by a panel vetting potential candidates.

In a statement, the CAS said the IWF appointed panel did not have the authority to make disciplinary decisions against the three Russian candidates.

The ruling will add to a crowded list of candidates for various positions, including president, at the upcoming IWF elections June 25-26 in Tirana, Albania.

The elections were originally scheduled for March 2021, then postponed until November of last year. They were then postponed again until this weekend.

There are currently 11 candidates running for IWF president, with many of the candidates also applying for other positions on the IWF Executive Board and various commissions and committees.

The interim president of the IWF Michael Irani is not one of the candidates running for president.

Irani has been encouraged by the progress made by the IWF in recent years, but also said the IWF “must do better” for young weightlifters who have been “deprived of opportunities through no fault of their own,” due to cheating in the present day.

These elections this weekend come at a crucial time for the IWF. They will be viewed as a key step for the IWF to rebuild trust with the IOC. Weightlifting has been left off the sports program for the LA28 Summer Olympics, with the IOC due to make a final decision next year.

A list of the candidates for all positions can be found here.