After months of uncertainty, the International Powerlifting Federation has announced the formation of a new federation for Australian lifters: The Australian Powerlifting Union (APU).
The IPF made the announcement on Facebook and Instagram on January 10th:
It is with great pleasure to inform you, the IPF Executive Committee has accepted the Australian Powerlifting Union (APU) as a provisional member of the International Powerlifting Federation.
A powerlifting federation cannot be created in one day or for that matter in one week. It requires time and needs to be created, carefully, in accordance to our rules and in accordance to the laws of the Australia.
This was the reason for the delay and we appreciate, very much, both your patience and your support.
We kindly welcome all current powerlifters that are willing to join the Australian Powerlifting Union. (…) The APU is now open for business and accepting member applications. Of course, it will be your choice as to whether or not you wish to join the new federation. It is not compulsory to become a member; however, if you’re wanting to lift at an IPF sanctioned International or World Championships or set IPF World Records, you will be required to join the APU.
The formation of the APU comes in the wake of considerable controversy in the Australian powerlifting community. In November, the IPF’s executive committee resolved to exclude Powerlifting Australia, the Oceania Powerlifting Federation, and their president Robert Wilks from their federation.
The exact reason why is difficult to ascertain, though according to the minutes from the committee’s November meeting, IPF president Gaston Parage said that this was because Wilks, perhaps best known as the inventor of the Wilks coefficient, brought several court actions against the IPF after he was not ratified as a member of the executive committee. Wilks has not publicly said why he believes he was excluded, though he called the decision “outrageous and destructive” and planned to appeal.
In any case, Australians looking to compete in IPF meets should soon be able to do so with the APU, while those loyal to Wilks and PA can still compete in PA meets.
Featured image via @theipf on Instagram.