Weightlifting Begins Governance Reform -- Federation Focus

Also: Top-flight judo returns after pandemic hiatus; FIFA president has coronavirus; World Rugby targets media rights sales

(ATR) The International Weightlifting Federation sets a deadline of January 22, 2021 for developing a new constitution and bylaws.

The IWF Reform and Governance Commission, which is responsible for creating the new document, met for the first time last weekend. Darren Charles Kane of Australia was chosen as the chair. Kane currently also serves on the Legal Committee of FINA.

Kane is joined by Damaris Itzel Young Aranda of Panama, a former international athlete who is also a sports law expert and member of the IOC Athletes’ Entourage Commission, and Ximena Restrepo, an Olympic medalist for Colombia who in 2019 became the first ever female vice president of World Athletics. The commission will follow ASOIF guidelines regarding governance measurement and improvement. The independent experts will be joined by IWF officials whom were not named in the federation statement.

The tight deadline is required so that the new governing documents can be circulated to IWF Member Federations two months prior to the IWF Electoral Reform Congress scheduled for March 24, 2021.

The IOC said it was "very worried" about the ouster of IWF interim president Ursula Papandrea on Oct. 13 and said it was "highly concerned" when the IWF board of directors chose IWF medical director Michael Irani to replace her on an interim basis three days later.

Papandrea had been leading a reform process to repair a litany of issues including governance since the official resignation of president Tamas Aján in April.

Irani admits that the federation must get its house in order or the IOC will remove the sport from the Paris 2024 program.

Top-Flight Judo Back on the Mat

The best judokas in the world return to action after an eight-month hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Grand Slam Hungary was held Oct. 23-25 under tight health protocols, including athletes and staff members being tested prior to the tournament before then living in a bubble with their movements restricted to travel between the hotel and the arena.

Spectators were not allowed at the Budapest event, the first to be held since the Duesseldorf Grand Slam on Feb. 21-23.

Of the 61 countries that took part in the tournament, 35 of them had at least a top eight finish and 25 of them took home at least one medal.

From both a sporting and health standpoint, IJF Competition Manager Lisa Allan deemed the event a success.

"The competition part was excellent, only the Covid measures are new for all of us, so we did what we thought was best. We learned a lot and we will adapt and improve for next time," Allan said.

The Zagreb Grand Prix is still on the calendar for 2020, though the dates have not been determined. Fifteen senior events, including continental championships, are set to be held in the remainder of the year, starting with this weekend's Guayaquil Panamerican Open in Ecuador.

FIFA President Has Coronavirus

FIFA confirms that president Gianni Infantino has tested positive for coronavirus and placed himself in self-isolation.

World football’s governing body, in a statement on Tuesday, said Infantino "has reported mild symptoms" and will remain in quarantine for at least 10 days.

FIFA says those who have been in contact with Infantino in the last few days have been notified and are "being requested to take the necessary steps".

The 50-year-old Swiss is part of a surge in cases in Switzerland and other parts of Europe in recent days. According toDeutsche Welle, Switzerland has logged about one-fifth of its total known cases in the last week alone.

World Rugby Appoints Head of Broadcast and Media Rights Sales

Chris Synnott signs on with World Rugby with a remit that includes developing strategies that will further audience and value growth to emerging rugby markets like the USA, Brazil, India and Germany.

Synnott, as head of broadcast and media rights sales, will seek to maximize the value of World Rugby’s properties worldwide.

Before joining World Rugby, Synnott led the media rights department of WRC Promoter GmbH in the global sales, distribution, and exploitation of the FIA World Rally Championship across all media platforms.

Synnott begins work at the federation in December, reporting to World Rugby Chief Commercial Officer Tom Hill.

Written by Gerard Farek

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