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IWF Family reinforces commitment to reform

The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) family has reinforced its commitment to further reform by approving a series of key reports at a Special Congress held on the eve of the IWF World Championships in Bogota, Colombia.

Delegates from 73 Member Federations (56 in person, 17 online) gathered for the Congress. It was the first such gathering since the new IWF Executive Board was elected in June.

Member Federations showed strong support for the IWF’s new direction, voting to approve reports that included proposals to further strengthen provisions across anti-doping, governance and the IWF constitution.

The presentations were led by IWF President Mohammed Jalood, General Secretary Antonio Urso and First Vice President Ursula Garza Papandrea.

They followed an Executive Board meeting that ratified new mandatory anti-doping testing, intelligence and education measures proposed by the International Testing Agency.

The changes build on the IWF’s commitment to clean competition, which underpins the updated Olympic Qualification System (QS) for the Olympic Games Paris 2024. IF Delegate for Paris 2024 Matthew Curtain set out the amendments, which include an extended whereabouts period of three months for every qualifying event.

Delegates in Bogota also approved a report from the Chair of the IWF Technical Committee Sam Coffa, who set out plans including the exploration of Beach Weightlifting competition alongside measures to reduce the length of future IWF World Championships.

Meanwhile, IWF Vice President Petr Krol outlined a commitment to introduce compulsory coaching licenses for all coaches at World and Continental competitions from 2024.

IWF President Mohammed Jalood said: “The past two days have been very important in demonstrating the strength of our commitment to shape a new future for weightlifting. As an Executive Board, we have taken strong decisions. But we know our challenges can only be met with the support of every member of the weightlifting family. Today, all together, we have taken a big step with this collective commitment to turn the page on our past.”

The Special Congress was opened by IWF President Mohammed Jalood in the presence of María Isabel Urrutia, Minister of Sport of Colombia, Ciro Solano Hurtado President of the Colombian Olympic Committee and Colombian Weightlifting Federation President William Peña.

Ahead of the formal proceedings, presentations were made to distinguished members of the weightlifting family. IWF First Vice President Ursula Papandrea was awarded in recognition of her contribution to weightlifting as an athlete, coach and administrator. Honorary General Secretary Ma Wenguang, Olympic gold medallist and Colombian Minister of Sport María Isabel Urrutia, General Secretary of European Weightlifting Federation Marino Casadei and Australian weightlifting coach and administrator Paul Coffa were also recognised.

During the Congress, a vote was held to approve North Macedonia joining the weightlifting Family, and with them the number of IWF members increased to 194. Portugal returned as an active Full Member having its provisional suspension revoked and Jamaica’s Full Membership was confirmed, earlier being a Provisional Member.