Rome, Italy – January 31, 2020 – The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) Executive
Board today voted decisively to appoint Professor Richard H. McLaren to independently
investigate allegations of impropriety surrounding President Dr. Tamas Ajan and the IWF.
“I wish to thank the IWF for their trust in me and my team. As independent investigators we
intend to follow every lead with the ultimate objective of uncovering the truth,” said Professor
Professor McLaren, CEO of McLaren Global Sport Solutions Inc., will be Investigation Chair.
Under his direction, Martin Dubbey will be Chief Investigator and Steven Berryman will be lead
Professor McLaren and his team have extensive experience in investigating misconduct in
sport, including the 2016 investigation into allegations of state-sponsored doping by the
Russian Federation. They will now look into the claims made by the Der Herr de Heber
documentary on Germany’s ARD network on 5 January 2020.
The documentary claimed leadership of the IWF, including President Ajan, participated in and/
or had knowledge of financial irregularities, corruption, doping control distribution, doping
sample manipulation, doping payment irregularities, doping activities in specific nations and
In announcing the appointment of McLaren, IWF Acting President Ursula Garza Papandrea
said, “As I have said in the past, we need someone who is not a friend of weightlifting to look
into these serious and historic allegations. But if we are to get to the bottom of this, we
required an investigator whose findings will be trusted and undeniable. That is why we selected
Professor McLaren. I thank my fellow Executive Board members for their courage in taking this
extraordinary, but necessary action.”
Professor McLaren will be free to follow the evidence wherever that may lead. A whistleblower
line will be set up and a separate announcement will be made when that is operational.
The Investigation, led by Professor McLaren, is entirely independent. Professor McLaren will
use the newly established IWF Oversight and Integrity Commission as his liaison to the IWF
Executive Board. Professor McLaren is empowered to take whatever measures he sees fit to
ensure each and every allegation is fully investigated and reported.