The President of the Pan American Weightlifting Federation for the last eight years, Willian Ozuna, has been ousted to be replaced by a group of reformers in which the USA seems to have significant influence.
Allegations of mismanagement have surrounded the federation in general and Ozuna in particular in recent years. This culminated in a group of national federations working together to unseat him. The most strident open criticism came from Gustavo Malgor, president of the Argentinian Weightlifting Federation, who said: “I am tired of seeing how Willian Ozuna manipulates regulations and norms at will, particularly in every Congress.”
Malgor has now been elected First Vice-President. Phil Andrews from USA Weightlifting was elected to the roles of Treasurer and Director General, a new role created at the congress. Ozuna’s role as President has gone to José Quiñones from Peru.
Two signs point to increased influence for USA Weightlifting. Firstly, it was announced that the PAWF secretariat would move to the USA, meaning that most federation administration will be conducted there (and activities will fall under the purview of the USA legal system). Secondly, a statement on the future of the federation was put out jointly by new president Quiñones and Phil Andrews, hinting that as Director General he will have a big part to play in setting the future direction of Pan American weightlifting.