USAW CEO proposes constitutional amendments ahead of IWF Congress in Doha

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August 25, 2021, Colorado Springs, USA – USA Weightlifting (USAW) CEO Phil Andrews has proposed amendments to the new International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) constitution ahead of the governing body’s congress in Doha this weekend in a last-ditch bid to save the sport’s Olympic dreams.

The first IWF Constitutional Congress earlier this summer resulted in no agreement, further delaying the Presidential election which was first slated for March.

As a consequence, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) gave its own Executive Board powers to suspend sports from the Olympic Programme without Session approval if those sports ignore IOC directives or undermine the reputation of the Olympic Movement.

Andrews has previously called for the entire IWF Executive Board to resign to give a new regime the opportunity to address the sports governance problems and persuade the IOC that the sport deserves to remain on the Olympic Games Programme, with its future Olympic participation in serious doubt.

In a letter to the Executive Board, copied to all weightlifting Member Federations, he said: “We must not fail, we must put the sport above each of us personally or each of our nations.

“Previously we have called upon leaders to voluntarily and publicly commit to not be part of the leadership going forward, no leader has taken such an action.

“We believe these together with the proposed constitution significantly strengthen the case for our sport to be in the Olympic Games.

“We call upon our leaders, and our fellow Federations to stop at nothing this weekend to ensure our future. We call upon our leaders to deeply think about their own positions, and any expressed view of the IOC, or the Weightlifting athletes of the world as they arrive this weekend. Please do not be the Executive Board that oversaw the departure of our sport from the Olympic Games.”

The proposed constitutional amendments include:

♦ An amendment that requires strengthens the eligibility criteria regarding age, barring anyone over the age of 70 for seeking election or re-election for an IWF role in line with the similar clause in the IOC’s governing documents

♦ An amendment that states that if you have served the IWF on the Board for eight years or more to date, you are not eligible to be a candidate in the election

♦ An amendment that states that if you have served the IWF in a staff role for eight years or more to date, you are not eligible to be a candidate in the election

The IWF Executive Board have been mired in controversy, dismissing its own independent advice on anti-doping led by Australia’s Darren Kane.

Following the McLaren Report, Operation Arrow report, ITA report and multiple sanctions, the IWF Executive Board has a number of members who have been caught up in personal or federation disputes, many of whom are linked to doping or governance issues.

The IWF has yet to take any action in relation to the McLaren report and those mentioned within it, some of whom currently still sit on the Executive Board.

Ahead of the Congress, the IWF Executive Board re-instated and suspended several federations, once again ignoring its own Membership Commission.

The IWF Constitutional Congress takes place in Doha, Qatar, from August 28-31.

The IOC Executive Board meets on September 8 where weightlifting’s fate could be sealed.


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