The warring factions of weightlifting put their differences aside to pass reforms they hope will help secure the future of the sport in the Olympics program.
Over 90 percent of 133 nations voted for a new constitution for the International Weightlifting Federation (IMF) at a congress in Doha, Qatar.
After weeks of conflict between the “old guard” of the IMF and reformers, the delegates spoke of the “very good” Mood “in which the meeting was held.
Phil Andrews, CEO of USA Weightlifting, praised the result as” the greatest step in governance in the history of sport “and spoke of the need for a” cure “in the world Weightlifting community.
Maxim Agapitov, the IMF board member from Russia who was involved in a public dispute with British reformers less than two weeks ago, said he was happy with the new constitution e: “I am sure we will all continue to do our sport for the best.”
The new document gives athletes a meaningful voice in the way weightlifting is regulated and supports gender equality and independent oversight .
The core area of eligibility for board members – a particular bogeyman of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) – was one of the main topics of discussion of the day.
An attempt to strengthen the selection criteria through an age limit for candidates failed with one single vote.
It concerned the eligibility of candidates who were not supported by their own national association, and it seems likely to prevent UK Interim President Mike Irani from standing for re-election.
A date for the election congress has not yet been determined, but should be in the last few weeks of this year and possibly take place again in Doha.
The IMF has been repeatedly warned by the IOC that their Olympic status is under threat following corruption scandals and government failures that mainly centered on the long-standing doping problem.
Ashley Metcalfe, CEO of BWL, said: “I’m still a little concerned, but today’s result is better than it could have been.
“We are moving forward, maybe not at the pace the IOC would like, but in the right direction.
” We have now a constitution, an improvement on what we had before, and I hope the IOC will see today’s developments positively.
“This could encourage the IOC to say in the upcoming elections,” Go ahead and more Making progress “.
Andrews said,” Our community has passed a constitution that provides for a leading level of athlete representation, gender equality, and exceptionally strict anti-doping criteria and external proficiency testing ht.
“While we need to heal now as a community and focus on the way forward – the way to Paris 2024 – the democratic process in Doha has prevailed and more than 90 percent of nations have supported far-reaching reforms. “
These reforms include three seats on the IMF board of directors for athletes, compared to none in the old constitution.
At least 30 percent of the elected positions will be occupied by women, another important step welcomed by the IOC A statement by the IMF stated: “Robust selection criteria and term restrictions will ensure that the future IMF board of directors will benefit from a regular influx of new talent.”
National associations with a high number of doping cases will be allowed have no representatives on the board – another important change as seven members of the current IMF board come from nations that were completely at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo were suspended or had athlete quotas reduced for multiple doping violations.
Irani praised the work of Darren Kane, an Australian attorney who headed the IMF Reform and Government Commission and drafted the constitution, which has made several amendments over the past six months – many of which Kane did not accept.
Kane said three days ago that too many IMF board members “took on their roles for the completely wrong reasons.”
“It wasn’t until October last year.” the IMF can reach a consensus on the appointment of independent members to the Reform and Government Commission, a crucial step in leaving the problems of the past behind us, “said Irani.
” After extensive consultation and in just 10 months during the Pandemic having adopted an entirely new constitution is real evidence of the IMF’s determination to move towards a better future based on solid foundations t is based. “
The final version of the constitution will be sent to the member associations” in the coming days “, said Irani.
Discussions at board level about an election date are expected to take place tomorrow in Doha.
Brian Oliver, author of “The Commonwealth Games: Extraordinary Stories Behind the Medals” and former sports editor of The Observer, was weightlifting media manager in London 2012 and Glasgow 2014.
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