Crisis-hit International Weightlifting Federation appoints third president in a week

The IWF said it had appointed Michael Irani, the British chair of the federation's medical committee and a former chair of its anti-doping commission, as interim president.

Agence France-Presse October 16, 2020 17:50:22 IST
Crisis-hit International Weightlifting Federation appoints third president in a week

Representational image. Getty Images

Lausanne: The crisis-hit International Weightlifting Federation (IWF), fighting to keep its place at the 2024 Paris Olympics, on Friday named a third president in a troubled week.

The IWF said it had appointed Michael Irani, the British chair of the federation's medical committee and a former chair of its anti-doping commission, as interim president.

While Irani accepted the nomination, he insisted he was not interested in the job full-time, but committed to furthering reforms around the issue of drug testing that has plagued the sport.

"I am grateful to the IWF executive board for entrusting me with the presidency on an interim basis," Irani said.

"I do not intend to stand as a candidate for the IWF president position in the future, so I will be able to focus fully on the reforms leading up to a clear and transparent IWF Congress."

The Budapest-based IWF had removed its interim president, American Ursula Garza Papandrea, after an executive board vote at an emergency meeting on Tuesday.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said Wednesday it was "very worried" about the boardroom putsch, saying they had "enjoyed excellent cooperation" with Papandrea.

The IOC did not name her replacement but the CEO of USA Weightlifting Phil Andrews announced in a statement released in his own name that Papandrea had been replaced briefly by Thailand's Intarat Yodbangtoey.

The Olympic body had already threatened last week to "reconsider the place of weightlifting on the programme of the Olympic Games in Paris 2024".

In December it must make a final decision on the events and quotas of athletes for the Paris Olympics.

Weightlifting has been in turmoil since January when a documentary by German TV channel ARD revealed what it described as a "culture of corruption" in the sport intended to mask the use of doping.

Hungarian Tamas Ajan, 81, chairman of the IWF for 20 years after serving as its secretary-general, rejected the accusations as "lies" before being pressured into resigning in April.

According to the documentary, until 2017 high-level weightlifters were being exempted from many doping controls, and test results were being altered in exchange for bribes.

ARD also referred to documents showing that nearly 4.5 million euros ($4.9 million) paid to the IWF by the IOC were transferred to accounts in Switzerland over which Ajan alone exercises control.

Updated Date:

also read

Ashes: England’s Stuart Broad says 'relentlessness with the ball' will lead to wickets, not just express pace
First Cricket News

Ashes: England’s Stuart Broad says 'relentlessness with the ball' will lead to wickets, not just express pace

Broad said it would be great to have the injured Jofra Archer in Australia and have that express pace, but his side's bowlers would need to move the ball and to be relentless.

Women's Big Bash League: Alyssa Healy's half-century sees Sydney Sixers win opener
First Cricket News

Women's Big Bash League: Alyssa Healy's half-century sees Sydney Sixers win opener

Chasing down the Stars' 99 for one in a match shortened to 11 overs a side due to rain, the Sixers lost Indian opener Shafali Verma for eight before Healy took charge at Blundstone Arena in Hobart.

Sprinter Hima Das tests positive for COVID-19, currently 'stable and in isolation'
Sports

Sprinter Hima Das tests positive for COVID-19, currently 'stable and in isolation'

Das, 21, reported to the national camp at the National Institute of Sport (NIS) in Patiala recently.