On 21 June 2020, the IWF Executive Board had a meeting during which many key decisions were made regarding the direction and future of the sport. A draft of the new Anti-Doping Policy (Rules), compliant with the new 2021 WADA Code, were approved to forward to WADA. There are some provisions that will require some modifications and in the meanwhile those will be addressed by the Anti-doping Policy Assessment Commission.
The Executive Board exhibited overwhelming support for the need of a new constitution by approving a successor to the Oversight and Integrity Commission, the Reform and Governance Commission. The newly created RGC, comprised by members of the Oversight and Integrity Commission, whose mandate included governance reform, and members from a previous Constitutional Working Group whose work had ceased in June of 2019. The IWF Executive Board will add a minimum of two ASOIF or GAISF recommended members to serve and give professional direction on good governance. The ASOIF Good Governance report, released last week, will also serve as a checklist for the commission, who will reference it ensure that the noted deficiencies that have been identified are also addressed.
An independent Integrity Commission was agreed upon in principle. The Executive Board has thereby acknowledged that it is paramount that ethics review be conducted by an external and independent commission. The exact members have yet to be named but the IWF has already started soliciting for recommendations from IOC, ASOIF and other reformed international federations.
The Executive Board also addressed the need for elections as soon as possible. Given the effects worldwide of COVID 19, there was much discussion about date and location over the last several meetings. The Executive Board voted to approve Lausanne, Switzerland in January of 2021 for the next Congress, which will combine constitutional and electoral congresses. We are excited to have all of the delegations experience the beautiful city of the IOC headquarters and the new IWF headquarters.
The IWF Secretariat is working hard in both Budapest and Lausanne to transition the workloads under a new organizational chart that was approved in May and will be implemented starting July 1. We are slated to close “floor 4” of the Budapest offices as we downsize. The IWF would also like to welcome Maxat Dastan as the IWF Financial Advisor; he is located and will be working for the IWF from Switzerland.
By IWF Interim President
Ursula Garza Papandrea
June Newsletter – Interim Presidents Message
Dear Athletes, Member Federations, Coaches and Weightlifting Enthusiasts,
I hope this message finds everyone in good health and back to training. As a former athlete and coach in the international arena, I empathize with the difficulties that the athletes have endured. We have been able to announce the IOC approved modified Olympic Qualification System and now await the revival of a full competition schedule. The Intercontinental commission will meet mid-June to discuss and lay preliminary plans for the next year. There are online competition opportunities but of course, nothing can rival the return to the platform stage.
The other event that has dominated press and the world of weightlifting is the McLaren investigation. The investigation findings are shocking and disconcerting to say the least. We will be dealing with the aftermath for a while. Our desire to uncover truth means we must now acknowledge and address the known.
They findings afford the IWF the opportunity to rebuild and reform the organization. This is not an option but an absolute necessity. The current Constitution and by-laws are such that little to no oversight is required and the political culture that has become the norm is absolutely unacceptable. The lack of checks on operations have allowed for misdeeds that have robbed the sport from robust and responsive development. The operational goals have been misguided and have greatly affected the support to our members.
The focus of the Executive Board over the next few months must be to take the most serious of corrective measures. The Oversight and Integrity Commission will begin its work on a new Constitution and by-laws with asssistance from professionals from ASOIF (Association of Summer International Olympic Federations) and GAISF (General Assembly of International Summer Federations). We are in beginning stages but hope to make quick yet thorough work of it.
Operationally we continue our changes in staff and location while attempting to maintain services. We have signed an agreement, with the Anti-doping Division of CAS, created a Anti-doping Task Force, and concluded an agreement to give more authority to ITA and make the ADRV process and member federation sanctioning as independent as possible given current policies.
We will continue to serve you and the sport. My main goal is to create an organization worthy of our athletes, member federations, and maintaining Olympic status.
Ursula Garza Papandrea
IWF Interim President