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Approval of IWF Strategic Plan and further improvement of governance reform among key decisions expected in Riyadh

The IWF is set to take a number of key decisions during the upcoming Congress and Executive Board meeting in Riyadh as it pushes ahead with reforming the organisation and establishing a clear plan for a stronger future. The meetings will take place on the occasion of the IWF World Championships, which will feature around 700 athletes from 120 nations, including all 20 current world champions, as athletes compete for Paris 2024 Olympic qualification. During the IWF Congress on September 12, National Federations will vote to approve the IWF Strategic Plan 2024-2032 which was developed following the broadest-ever consultation in the sport’s history. The plan provides a roadmap for weightlifting’s global development as the IWF looks to shape a new future as a clean, athlete-centred, and well-governed modern sport. The Congress will also vote on proposed amendments to the IWF Constitution to provide better understanding and clarity, ensuring the document serves its purpose as an effective tool of governance. Ahead of the Congress, the IWF Executive Board will approve the implementation process of the Athlete Gender Identity Policy which has been in force since August 1 and aims to promote inclusion while also respecting the integrity of competitions. The EB will also approve the Terms of Reference for the IWF Safety and Integrity Officer which was recently created by the IWF to enhance athlete safeguarding. Speaking ahead of the key meetings, IWF President Mohammed Jalood said: “Riyadh will be a momentous occasion for the IWF both on and off the field of play. Over 14 days of elite competition we will celebrate the world’s very best athletes as they compete for world titles and all-important Paris 2024 qualification. And away from the competition our Congress and Executive Board will take important decisions to safeguard our athletes and deliver the strongest possible future for our sport. “The collaborative Strategic Plan 2024-2032 is critical in providing a clear framework for weightlifting and ensuring clean athletes and good governance are at the heart of our work. The implementation plan of the Athlete Gender Identity Policy and terms of IWF Safety and Integrity Officer also demonstrates our commitment to our athletes and ensuring they have an inclusive, safe, and fair environment to compete in.”

Executive Board takes important decisions for the IWF’s future

The IWF Executive Board met today (online) and approved important decisions concerning its future, namely the appointment of an Interim CEO, a new “IWF Human Rights and Non-Discrimination Policy”, a Commission to examine the applications of athletes requesting an exemption related to the Olympic Qualification for Paris 2024 and the validation of the AIN delegation for the upcoming IWF World Championships, taking place from September 4-17 in Riyadh (KSA).   In accordance with the IWF Constitution, and respecting the good governance principles, Pedro Adrega, presently the IWF Communications and Marketing Manager was appointed as the new interim CEO of the International Weightlifting Federation, until a definitive CEO can be appointed. After spending 22 years at FINA – the International Swimming Federation, now named World Aquatics -, Mr Adrega has given new dynamics to the communication strategy within the IWF and is namely chairing the working group in charge of establishing the 2024-2032 IWF Strategic Plan.   On the athletes’ side, and after having approved in recent months an “Athlete Gender Identity Policy” and appointed a Safeguarding and Integrity Officer, the IWF validated today a “Human Rights and Non-Discriminatory Policy”, which applies to all participants involved in our International Federation operations. These guidelines are to be followed by all IWF entities, but also by its commercial partners, service providers, and organisers of the IWF events. The final document was largely inspired by the IOC policy on this important matter.   Related to the Olympic qualification for Paris 2024, the IWF voted positively on the guidelines for a Commission in charge of examining the athletes’ request for an exemption related to the qualification process. According to the IWF/IOC Qualification System for the weightlifting competitions at the Olympics, a mandatory presence in some events is part of the procedure. Also in accordance with those Rules, athletes may apply for an exemption, under exceptional circumstances. The mission of the new independent Commission is to analyse and decide on those requests.    Finally, the IWF EB also approved the AIN delegation that will be present at the IWF World Championships. It includes 12 athletes, seven support personnel, and one technical official – all of them have a passport from

IWF conducts broadest-ever stakeholder consultation to shape new Strategic Plan

More than 250 members and stakeholders of the global weightlifting family have so far been consulted as part of a process to develop a first-ever Strategic Plan for the IWF. It represents the largest and widest consultation in the federation’s history and comes a year after the election of a new IWF Executive Board with a mandate to unify the global sport and reform its culture and governance. The plan will include a new IWF vision, mission and values alongside current situation analysis and a framework comprising strategic pillars and priority actions. The Strategic Plan will be a central roadmap for the future of weightlifting A final version is set to be presented for approval by the IWF Congress in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in September on the sidelines of the IWF World Championships 2023. When complete, the document will provide a central roadmap for weightlifting’s global development as the IWF looks to shape a new future as a clean, athlete-centred and well-governed modern sport. Those consulted as part of the project represent a broad cross-section of weightlifting’s international community, which spans 194 countries across every continent. They range from continental associations and member federations to athletes, commercial partners and barbell suppliers. Beginning in May this year, consultation exercises have included a Member Federation survey seeking views on the sport’s priorities and road-testing of drafts with internal committees and commercial partner representatives. Key stakeholders from outside weightlifting will also be offered the chance to review and input in a future phase. The IWF Strategic Plan project is being overseen by a nine-person steering committee chaired by IWF Communications Manager Pedro Adrega. It includes the Chair and Vice Chair of the IWF Athletes Commission, Forrester Osei (GHA) and Olympic Champion Hidilyn Diaz (PHI), who is among the sport’s biggest current names. The IWF Executive Board is also represented by Vice-President Attila Adamfi, while Antonio Conflitti, President of the European Weightlifting Federation is the voice of the IWF continental associations. From the Member Federations’ side, Helga Hakonardottir presides over the Icelandic national weightlifting body. Besim Hasani, independent external advisor and former President of the Kosovo National Olympic Committee, Maria Cseresnyes, IWF Business Administration Manager, and Catherine Inkster, JTA (communication agency partnering with the IWF) representative, complete the members’ list of this working group. "Weightlifting is one of the most fundamental Olympic sports" - IWF President Mohammed Jalood Weightlifting is among the most universal and foundational Olympic sports. Practiced since ancient Greece, part of its appeal lies in its ability to connect modern audiences with the continuum of human performance. While recognising these unique assets, IWF President Mohammed Jalood emphasised the need to avoid complacency. President Jalood said: “Weightlifting is one of the most fundamental Olympic sports – practiced widely as a training activity and enshrined in the Olympic motto, Faster, Higher, Stronger - Together. “But no sport can afford to rest on its laurels in the competitive modern sports marketplace, and the IWF has been clearly tasked with setting a new course for its future. “Meaningful change in sports governance is delivered with effective work and consultation is crucial in this context to build unity of purpose.” For any media inquiry or request for additional information, please contact Pedro Adrega at

IWF Executive Board meeting in Durres (ALB)

Under the leadership of the IWF President Mohammed Jalood, a hybrid IWF Executive Board meeting took place on March 30, 2023, with most of its members attending the IWF World Youth Championships in Durres (ALB).   The main decisions taken by the IWF Executive Board include:   - Approval of the IWF Development Programme for 2023, with a total of US$650,000 being distributed by National Federations across the five continents. Special attention was given to three members recently affected by natural disasters: Ecuador, Turkey, and Syria;   - Validation of the applications received for the constitution of an IWF Refugee Team – seven athletes (four women and three men) were accepted to be part of the programme. Moreover, six coaches have shown interest in being the technical responsible for the team;   - Acknowledgement of the excellent partnership with ITA (International Testing Agency), the independent body in charge of all anti-doping operations on behalf of the IWF. The Executive Board reiterates that this is a fundamental integrity topic and that a significant part of the IWF annual budget (around 35%) is allocated to the fight against cheating in our sport. Moreover, the IWF recognises that the number of cases was dramatically reduced, thus proving the efficiency and extent of the IWF/ITA cooperation;   - Following the recent IOC recommendation related to the eventual participation of Russia and Belarus at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, the Executive Board states:   “The IWF stands in solidarity with Ukraine and supports the continued IOC sanctions against Russia and Belarus.  We have taken note of the recommendation by the IOC Executive Board that sets out strict conditions under which athletes with Russian or Belorussian passports may be permitted to compete on an individual, neutral basis in competitions governed by International Federations. We will take time to review the guidance closely in order to determine whether and how it can be applied to weightlifting.  The IWF Executive Board will provide an update once the recommendation has been fully considered.  In the meantime, the protective measures introduced last year remain in place at this time.”   - Approval of a working group in charge of creating an “IWF Strategic Plan 2024-2032”;   - Appraisal of the commitment and valuable contribution of the IWF Athletes Commission (AC) for the development of the IF activities. The presence of three AC members on the Executive Board is deemed extremely useful, as it allows very direct and efficient communication between the IWF leadership and the IWF athletes;   - Discussion on the Constitution’s update, which must be formally approved by the IWF Congress next September with the occasion of the IWF World Championships. It was noted that no substantive changes are made – matters related to better readability and comprehension of the text are being revised by the IWF legal team;   - Approval of a rule establishing that Organisers of IWF events must do their utmost to make all financial transactions by wire transfer. Cash operations are only allowed in very exceptional circumstances and must be timely reported to the IWF, in the most detailed way possible;   - Approval of a “Sustainability Plan Report”, to be applied at the IWF events;   - Approval of a transgender policy and creation of a working group responsible for its implementation.   “We had a very fruitful meeting here in Durres and I take this opportunity to thank all my colleagues from the Executive Board for their valuable support to our activities and for their sense of unity and close cooperation. The IWF family is working together for the sake of our athletes, coaches and officials, and their respective National Member Federations. Many important topics were discussed and I am sure that progress will continue to be made in several areas: good governance, anti-doping policy, transparency and accountability, voice and representation of athletes, and organisation of IWF events,” stated the IWF President Mohammed Jalood at the end of the meeting. 

IWF Executive Board strengthens commitment to anti-doping during in-person meeting in Rome

The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) hosted an in-person meeting in Rome and reinforced its commitment to making improvements across anti-doping, governance, and its Constitution.It was the first time that the IWF Executive Board has met in Italy and IOC Member and Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI) President Giovanni Malagò attended the start of the meeting to welcome the members to the CONI Headquarters. The EB followed up on the work done since the last in-person meeting in July and the commitments that had been made, including looking into conducting due diligence of the IWF over the past ten years. Enhancing the IWF’s robust anti-doping programme was also among the key items on the agenda and saw a presentation from Chair of the IWF Anti-Doping Commission Rune Andersen and Director General of the International Testing Agency (ITA) Benjamin Cohen. Proposals to further enhance the programme included expanding investigative powers, improving education, introducing minimum testing requirements for member federations, and addressing resources in intelligence and investigation. Special attention was paid to how the IWF can further enhance education among athletes, coaches, and National Federations.Protecting clean athletes was a clear guiding principle in the proposal around updating the Olympic Qualification System for the Olympic Games Paris 2024 presented by IWF EB member Matthew Curtain, the IF Delegate for Paris 2024. The Executive Board agreed in principle to strengthen the Qualification System, subject to written approval from the IWF Athletes’ Commission. Following IWF Athletes’ Commission approval, the document will be sent to the IOC for final approval.The EB also approved in principle a strict measure to exclude countries where out-of-competition testing is not possible as a further step to supporting IWF’s zero tolerance on doping. The ITA with the Anti-Doping-Commission will look into the legal possibilities and prepare a proposal for the IWF EB as soon as possible.IWF President Mohammed Jalood said:“This meeting was very productive and engaging. The Executive Board is passionate about constantly improving weightlifting for the benefit of our clean athletes. The IWF’s anti-doping programme is recognised as being one of the strongest among Olympic sports but we always want to go further and find ways to enhance it to better promote clean sport. This commitment to progress was clear in our discussions on anti-doping but also extends to our Olympic Qualification System, reforms on governance and the development of weightlifting.”During the Executive Board meeting there were presentations from the IWF Committees and an update on the Athletes’ Commission elections, which will be held during the World Championships in December.IWF General Secretary Antonio Urso delivered an update on the World Championships which will serve as the first qualification event for Paris 2024, as well as the IWF World Youth Championships in Tirana, Albania. Further progress reports were presented on the IWF World Junior Championships Guadalajara, Mexico and IWF World Senior Championships in Riyadh, Saudi

Zacarias Bonnat elected as third athlete representative on IWF Executive Board

Tokyo 2020 silver medallist Zacarias Bonnat of the Dominican Republic has been elected by the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) Athletes’ Commission (AC) as the third athlete representative on the IWF Executive Board. The IWF Constitution allows for up to three IWF AC delegates to serve on the Executive Board to ensure that the athlete voice is fully represented in the federation’s decision-making processes. Bonnat joins IWF AC Chair Forrester Christopher Osei and IWF Vice-Chair Dora Tchakounte as the three athlete representatives on the Executive Board. The vote was carried out online by the members of the IWF AC and will see Bonnat hold the position until the 2022 IWF Athletes' Commission election on 5-16 December 2022, in Bogota Colombia, on the occasion of the 2022 IWF World Championships. IWF General Secretary Antonio Urso said: “We are delighted to welcome Bonnat to the Executive Board and further strengthen athlete representation among our membership. The IWF is fully committed to promoting the interests of the athletes and having three athletes on our Executive Board ensures that their voice is heard and acted upon.” IWF AC Chair Forrester Christopher Osei added: “The IWF Athletes Commission is very happy to have Zacarias as one of our representatives on the Executive Board. We have complete confidence that he will be a valuable addition and will actively contribute to discussions which will impact our fellow weightlifters. As a silver medallist from the recent Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, he will bring vital experience and perspective as one of the world’s best weightlifters to the Executive