The 2021 International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) World Championships are scheduled for Dec. 7-16, 2021, in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. During that time, the IWF will hold their Athletes Commission elections as part of the IWF Electoral Congress. Per the IWF’s press release, three athletes will be elected and become full voting members of the Executive Board — intended to provide athletes with a stronger voice in the sport’s governance decisions.
IWF member federations are encouraged to submit their nominations for the forthcoming elections in December. Athletes who receive the requisite votes to be elected to the Athletes Commission “will be subject to the same strict eligibility criteria and verification procedures currently underway for the nominees submitted for election to the IWF Presidency, the IWF Vice Presidency, and IWF Executive Board membership.”
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The election rules for the IWF Athletes Commission were approved on Aug. 29, 2021, as part of the adoption of the new, independently drafted IWF Constitution. In the press release, Interim IWF President Michael Irani stated:
The IWF can say with certainty that athletes will be given a strong voice within IWF decision-making.
Irani noted that the election of the three athletes from the IWF Athletes Commission to the IWF Executive Board would “demonstrate a very different culture” that would “renew its governance…ensure clean weightlifting competition at the Tokyo 2020 [sic].”
Weightlifters in Paris
The 2024 Paris Olympic Games will see a drop in the overall athlete quota compared to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Weightlifting received the most significant reduction — 76 spots — from the 196-athlete allocation in Tokyo due to the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) dissatisfaction with the IWF’s attempts to stop corruption and curb widespread doping violations.
Irani will not be eligible for re-election as he does not have the requisite support of his home country’s member federation, British Weightlifting. However, he “firmly believes” that this reform to the sport’s governance would secure its spot in the program of future Olympic Games.
Featured image: @iwfnet on Instagram