News and Media


IWF Refugee Team on its way!

The International Weightlifting Federation is pleased to announce the launch of the procedure to create a Refugee Team, comprised of three men and three women. Candidates to this team have now until March 25, 2023 to send their application form to the IWF, who will then decide on the composition of the Refugee Team.

To be eligible to this programme, athletes must be recognised as refugees or beneficiaries of international protection, in according with the criteria established by the UNHCR, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Moreover, the participation of those athletes at IWF events will be based on the assessment from the IWF Member Federation or National Olympic Committee in the athlete’s host country of residence.

Once approved by the IWF, the Refugee Team will compete under the acronym WRT, will use the official IWF flag and is subject to the IWF Anti-Doping Rules. Finally, a coach/manager of the Team will also be appointed by the IWF, so that the selected athletes can be properly integrated in a training programme. Athletes and coach will have to follow and complete the WADA ADEL online course and other educational programmes deemed necessary for their preparation.

Under this programme, the Refugee Team will also benefit from a training camp aimed at their eventual participation at the IWF World Championships, taking place in Riyadh (KSA), from September 2-27, 2023. However, athletes from the Refugee Team are not part of the Olympic Games Qualification System,

“After the successful experience of the IOC on this matter, the IWF will also welcome a Refugee Team in our main competitions. In an ideal world, we shouldn’t have refugees, but as there are unfortunately very complicated situations around the globe, Sport must also give an opportunity to those most affected by so many tragic circumstances. This is why we will build a solid programme around this theme, a programme that will certainly evolve with time. In advance, I already wish all the best to the athletes who will be part of our IWF Refugee Team,” considered the IWF President Mohammed Jalood.

The relevant documents on this topic are: