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First Moves Towards Post-Aján IWF

Acting IWF President Ursula Papandrea had made the first steps to distancing the International Weightlifting Federation from its period under the control of Tamás Aján, who resigned last week amid ongoing corruption allegations.

According to a message posted on the IWF website Papandrea has received the support of the IWF Executive Board to continue in her role and for her first act – the moving of the IWF Secretariat from Hungary to Switzerland.

It seems likely that the move will also prompt large-scale changes in the staff of the secretariat. Committees have already been formed to hire a new Director-General and Chief Financial Officer.

USA influence at the top of the IWF has been enhanced by the appointment of Phil Andrews, USAW CEO, as Deputy Director-General of the IWF, meaning he will have a big hand in the reformation of the Secretariat.

Papandrea also announced changes in how the IWF will handle anti-doping. She said the Executive Board voted unanimously to make the Anti-Doping Commission and Member Federations Sanctioning Panel more independent of the Executive Board itself. She also announced that the IWF has signed an agreement with the Court of Arbitration of Sports Anti-Doping division for it to handle IWF anti-doping cases.

Aján will not be completely disappearing from the international weightlifting scene just yet though. Apparently a deal was done as part of his resignation for him to represent the IWF in an ambassadorial role. Whether that will survive the results of the McLaren investigation into IWF corruption, due to report in June, remains to be seen.

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