Federation Focus: Agustin Pichot Leaves World Rugby

Also: New president for esport federation; AIBA sets the date; USA Gymnastics events moved; USA weightlifters gain a voice

(ATR) Agustin Pichot quits rugby administration after losing to incumbent Bill Beaumont in the World Rugby chairman election earlier this month.

The former Argentine captain announced that he is leaving his position as one of his country’s three representatives on the World Rugby Council and is also resigning from the Rugby World Cup Board and as president of Americas Rugby.

Pichot had served as World Rugby vice-chairman but did not run for re-election. Instead he challenged Beaumont, running a campaign calling for an overhaul of the sport.

"The only reason I have been a part of World Rugby to this day, and which in turn is the same one that has moved me to run for President, is the belief that World Rugby needs change. But my proposal, which I strongly believe in, has not been chosen, and that is why I choose to step aside. I cannot conceive of occupying a place just for the sake of occupying it," Pichot said in a statement.

"Although I will now be exclusively dedicated to family and personal issues, this does not mean that I am moving away from Rugby. I will always contribute, from the place that touches me, to achieve a fairer and more equitable global rugby that we continue to take pride in participating in and being part of."

AIBA Sets Date for Congress

The International Boxing Association (AIBA) will vote on a new constitution and elect a new president before the end of the year.

AIBA announced on Wednesday that the federation’s next Ordinary Congress will be held on December 12-13. An Extraordinary Congress was postponed from March to June before being cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

AIBA Interim President Mohamed Moustahsane has overseen reforms demanded by the IOC to end a suspension put in place in July 2019 for a range of concerns including governance, finance and judging.

Completion of the changes has been disrupted by the pandemic. The new constitution and bylaws were originally to have been adopted at the extraordinary congress in March.

The timetable has been changed by the one-year postponement of the Tokyo Games. The IOC says the suspension, which was to be reviewed after Tokyo 2020, will remain in place until after the rescheduled Games.

An IOC task force remains in charge of Olympic qualification and the Olympic boxing tournament for Tokyo.

IESF Names Acting President

International Esport Federation (IESF) President Colin Webster has stepped down from his position, saying that the COVID-19 crisis "has sorely tested my efficacy in serving those who elected me".

The federation, in a statement, cited "the ever increasing challenging situation in South Africa related to travel restrictions" as one of the reasons for Webster’s decision.

Webster proposed that IESF Vice-President Vlad Marinescu assume the position of President and Sheikh Sultan Bin Khalifa Bin Sultan Al Nahayan take over as Vice President. The IESF board unanimously ratified the proposal, and it was agreed that both men would serve in their new positions until the next Ordinary General Assembly.

The board also unanimously agreed to keep Webster on the board to continue in a support role paying special attention to legal and financial matters.

Marinescu, who is president of the United States Esports Federation as well as Chief Media & Marketing Officer of the International Judo Federation, said the IESF was fortunate to have convinced Webster to stay on the board.

"During the next period I will dedicate myself to continuing the mission proposed by Colin and together with the united IESF Board, we will ensure to serve our members while growing and uniting the esports world further," Marinescu said in a statement.

USA Gymnastics Postpones Premier Events to 2021

USA Gymnastics says it will not hold premier events for the rest of the year and will reformat the 2020 National Congress and Tradeshow to a virtual event due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The announcement on Tuesday includes postponing the GK U.S. Classic, U.S. Gymnastics Championships (for women’s and men’s artistic gymnastics), and USA Gymnastics Championships (for rhythmic gymnastics, trampoline & tumbling, and acrobatic gymnastics).

The GK U.S. Classic, previously scheduled for May 23, 2020, at the XL Center in Hartford, Conn., will now take place at the same venue on May 22, 2021. U.S. Gymnastics Championships, previously scheduled for June 4-7, 2020, at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas, will also take place in the original venue June 3-6, 2021.

USA Gymnastics says it is in the process of rescheduling events leading up to the Olympic Games in 2021 and plans to announce new dates for Olympic Trials, the 2021 National Congress and Tradeshow, and USA Gymnastics Championships in the coming weeks.

Athletes Gain Greater Voice in USA Weightlifting

Athletes will be the largest membership group on the USA Weightlifting (USAW) Board of Directors beginning next year.

The board for the NGO unanimously agreed on Monday to double athlete representation to four seats, giving athletes control of one-third of voting seats on the board.

In addition, three additional athlete members will be added to the USAW Advisory Council and one additional athlete representative will be appointed to all USA Weightlifting committees.

"We are extremely happy to be able to adjust our governance to both increase the athlete voice, but also to include a critical category of athletes in our organization and their views across all of our governance levels," USA Weightlifting Chief Executive Officer Phil Andrews said in a statement.

The new athlete representatives will come from the National Team pool. Elections will be held later this year with the new board beginning work in 2021.

The USAW board also approved a new policy aimed at making it easier for the CEO "to be able to conduct and lead the operations of USAW in an effective and efficient manner".

Homepage photo: World Rugby

Written by Gerard Farek

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