IWF To Move Operations From Hungary To Switzerland

IWF acting President Ursula Papandrea to lead to the move alongside temporary Deputy Director General Phil Andrews.

The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) will be relocating their offices from Budapest, Hungary to Lausanne, Switzerland.

Editor’s note: This article has been amended to clarify that operational banking for the IWF will be moved from Hungary to Switzerland.

According to an exclusive by Inside the Games, IWF acting President Ursula Papandrea commented that the move comes for a need to have the IWF’s operational banking and operations in the same place. The IWF’s current operational banking takes place in Budapest and will be moved to Lausanne. Lausanne is the IWF’s Constitutional Headquarters.

“We have no need for banking outside of Switzerland and need our operational banking to be where our operations are, which will be Lausanne.”


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Former IWF Vice President Papandrea received an unanimous vote from the IWF Executive Board to continue her role as the acting president until the next electoral congress — a vote that followed the resignation of former IWF President Tamás Aján of Hungary, who has now been given the title of Honorary Ambassador of Weightlifting according to a statement from Papandrea.

Aján’s resignation came amid allegations of financial corruption and the cover-up of false drug testing done primarily by the Hungarian National Anti-Doping Agency (HUNADO) which are still under an investigation. The investigation — led by Richard McLaren — is scheduled to be complete by June 4th.

Papandrea will manage IWF’s move to Lausanne with USA Weightlifting (USAW) CEO Phil Andrews, who was voted by the IWF Executive Board to be the IWF temporary Deputy General Director. In a statement released by Andrews, he said:

Note: bolding done by BarBend editorial team for emphasis.

“I have worked extremely hard over the past four years and more to address the reputational challenges our great sport has faced, both in the United States and supporting work around the world. The IWF has faced additional challenges, of course, following allegations of financial irregularities, corruption, and doping allegations, prompting the appointment of Professor Richard McLaren to undertake an independent investigation. This is very much an interim role and I will not be leaving USAW or be joining the IWF on a permanent basis, but I am humbled to be entrusted to help the sport through the coming weeks and months. I… will work tirelessly to ensure that the organisation thrives as it moves to sport’s spiritual home in Lausanne.”


[Related: Listen to the BarBend podcast to hear Phil Andrews response to COVID-19.]

The normal date for the electoral congress session to vote for a permanent IWF president is usually May 31st in the year following an Olympic Games. With the postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games to July 2021, a new date will have to be set, but has yet to be determined. 

Disclaimer: BarBend is the Official Media Partner of USA Weightlifting. The two organizations maintain editorial independence, unless specified on partnership content.

Featured image from USA Weightlifting’s Instagram page: @usa_weightlifting