(ATR) The former long-time president of the International Weightlifting Federation Tamas Ajan fires back following the release of the results of an independent investigation.
The report prepared by Canadian attorney and anti-corruption expert Richard McLaren, released on Thursday,found systematic corruption and questionable financial dealings were routine at the IWF. McLaren says the autocratic and dictatorial style of Ajan, for 20 years president of the federation, made it all possible.
"The claims against me are unfounded," Ajan says.
Here is his complete statement:
"In my whole life I have respected the law, the written and unwritten rules and practices of sport.
"In accordance with the IWF Constitution, all necessary decisions were taken by the Executive Board of the International Weightlifting Federation. It was the Executive Board that approved the annual budgets, and the Audit reports submitted by the independent Swiss Auditors - proving the legal handling of the finances - were approved by the Congress.
"The claims against me are unfounded.
"During the investigation I fully cooperated with Mr. McLaren and his team, however, much to my regret and despite my request they never provided me with the information that would have given me the possibility to disprove their statements, and they published the report without giving me the chance of clarification.
"Since I did not receive the report earlier, it will only be after having studied it thoroughly that I can give my position.
"For about half a century, I have spent all my professional career in service of sport, the Hungarian and international Olympic Movement, of weightlifting and the fight against doping. Even today, I am working for the benefit of sports, as President of the Hungarian Olympic Academy. I wish to continue my efforts in this direction.
"I would like to maintain close relationship with the International Weightlifting Federation and the weightlifting family."
Ajan was ordered to stand down from his post in January after the allegations came to light in a German TV report.
But McLaren says the Hungarian sports leader remained in charge of staff at the Budapest headquarters, ignoring the order that he step aside to allow interim president Ursula Papandrea to oversee the operations of the Federation.
Ajan gave up the fight and resigned April 15, clearing the way for Papandrea to take over.
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