IWF chief steps down amid corruption probe

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The president of the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF), Tamas Ajan has resigned, as an investigation of corruption is going on him, an announcement made by the governing body said on Wednesday. Ajan has given his 44 years of his life to weightlifting as he was been working in IWF since 1976. He served 24 years there as a general secretary and then 20 years as president.

The 81-year-old Ajan said in a statement posted on the IWF website, “I offered the best of my life to our beloved sport, When health circumstances related to the pandemic allow, holding elections would enable a new generation to start work as soon as possible on ensuring a bright future for the sport we love.”

The new president of the IWF will probably be American Ursula Papandrea and she will continue to lead the sport’s governing body.

“We can now begin the work of determining a fresh path towards achieving the full potential of our sport,” she said after Ajan’s resignation, which was accepted at a board meeting on Wednesday.

Papandrea is the first woman to lead to IWF since 1970. She is a former international lifter for the United States. There were only two presidents since 1972 — Ajan and the Austrian Gottfried Schoedl, who died this week aged 95.

The allegations, according to a document on the IWF website, were “primarily against” Ajan and concerned “financial irregularities, corruption, doping control distribution, doping sample manipulation, doping payment irregularities, doping activities in specific nations and nepotism”.

The Canadian law professor Richard McLaren and his report on the Russian doping scandal led to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and recommended Russia to be banned from the 2016 Olympic Games. Although, In Russia, a leading team is carrying out an independent investigation.

In the last week of January, Ajan took out the step from the IWF, initially for 90 days. He said that the allegations which are alleged on him are “not supported by the relevant documentation or by people involved in the relevant decisions”.

IWF board decided and they extended the tenure of Papandrea till June, In March.

Papandrea said: “The IWF thanks Tamas Ajan for more than four decades of service to weightlifting, and most notably for his work in recent years to ensure an anti-doping program which meets the standards of the IOC (International Olympic Committee) and WADA is in place.”

Currently, Weightlifting is facing a lot of problems due to doping.

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