News and Media



The first meeting of the IWF Reform and Governance Commission was held over the weekend of Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 October, with Darren Charles Kane of Australia selected to start as Chair. The Commission will now be responsible for developing a new constitution and bylaws with a deadline of 22 January 2021. The new governing documents are to be circulated to IWF Member Federations two months prior to the IWF Electoral Reform Congress scheduled for 24 March 2021.

“I am very grateful to the leading independent experts who have agreed to support the IWF with the huge undertaking ahead of us: revising our governance in just three months,” said IWF Interim President Dr Michael Irani. “The goal of complete reform for the IWF’s governance is ambitious but also achievable. It is also overdue, notably in areas like athlete representation, term limits, accountability and transparency. Fortunately, we have reason to be optimistic. The successful reform of the IWF’s anti-doping procedures, based on principles of independent expertise and wide-ranging consultation, points to what can be achieved and how.”

Alongside Kane, who also sits on the Legal Committee of FINA, will be Damaris Itzel Young Aranda of Panama, a former international athlete who is also a sports law expert and member of the IOC Athletes’ Entourage Commission. They will be joined by Ximena Restrepo, an Olympic medallist for Colombia who in 2019 became the first ever female Vice President of World Athletics. The Commission will work based on the guidelines of ASOIF in regard to governance measurement and improvement. The independent experts will also be joined by IWF officials.

“It’s a great honour to have this chance to help another of the select number of sports to have been part of the Olympic Games ever since they were reborn in 1896,” said IWF Reform and Governance Commission chair Darren Charles Kane. “It’s too early to tell exactly how the IWF’s governing documents will change in the coming months, but we already know the principles we want to see being applied to the reform process, with consultation, best practice, transparency and accountability key among them.”

Next steps for the IWF Reform and Governance Commission will include consideration of proposals from IWF Member Federations, consultation of external bodies (including the IOC, ASOIF, GAISF, WADA and the ITA) and the drafting of new documents.