The IWF Executive Board (EB) met in Lausanne on 15 August. Its main focus was the IOC’s recent announcement that, while weightlifting’s considerable anti-doping progress is welcome, the sport’s provisional status on the Paris 2024 Olympic Programme will be maintained. With the IOC having subsequently communicated detailed criteria by which it will judge the IWF’s anti-doping success, the EB assessed the work ahead.
Joining the EB members present were IOC Director of Sport Kit McConnell and IOC Head of Summer Sports and International Federation Relations David Luckes. Mr McConnell reported on the IOC’s satisfaction at the way the IWF first established an independent group to make recommendations aimed at improving the IWF’s anti-doping efforts, subsequently implementing those recommendations.
Key among the IOC’s criteria for confirming weightlifting’s place on the Paris 2024 Olympic Programme have been the development and implementation of measures targeting those countries associated with a disproportionately high number of anti-doping rule violations. Mr McConnell confirmed the IOC’s full and continued support for an Olympic Qualification System that factors in a high incidence of past doping. He further underlined the importance of maintaining and implementing the system in place, following its approval for Tokyo 2020.
The EB heard from the Independent Monitoring Group, which has been tasked with establishing that lasting improvements are in fact being made among the IWF member federations suspended following the IOC’s retesting procedures.
The EB also heard from Maitre Francois Carrard, former Director General of the IOC and now partner at Kellerhals Carrard. Carrard represents the IWF in the case currently before the Court of Arbitration for Sport, brought by the Weightlifting Federation of the Republic of Kazakhstan. He gave update report for the EB on the status of the CAS case brought against the IWF supported by the IOC.
The EB concluded its meeting coordinating an action plan based on the IOC requirements.
The EB expects that continued positive progress on these issues, critical to weightlifting’s Olympic future, will form a significant part of its next meetings in Ashgabat, prior to the IWF Congress and World Weightlifting Championships.