Weightlifting’s Olympic Status under threat after Boardroom Putsch

The Olympic body has already threatened last week to "reconsider weightlifting's place on the programme of the Olympic Games in Paris 2024".

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The place of weightlifting at the 2024 Paris Olympics is under threat after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) expressed its worry on Wednesday. The Boardroom Putsch that ousted the interim president of the governing body is the reason behind it.

Ursula Papandrea of the United States, who became the first woman to head the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF), was removed after an executive board vote at an emergency meeting on Tuesday. She took over the office earlier this year in January. 

The IOC is very worried to learn about the reported decision made by the Board of the International Weightlifting Federation to replace the Acting President, Ms Ursula Garza Papandrea, the way the decision was taken and the chosen replacement,” the IOC said in a statement.

“The IOC enjoyed excellent cooperation with her during her time in office. It is fully supportive of the reforms she has initiated in the IWF.”

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The Committee is yet to announce her replacement. But the CEO of USA Weightlifting, Phil Andrews announced in a statement that Intarat Yodbangtoey from Thailand will replace Papandrea.

Andrews said he was resigning as Interim Deputy Director-General of the IWF, saying: “It has become clear over recent months that not everyone has the best interests of the sport in mind and our attempts to reform the sport have been met with incredible resistance.”

Troublesome for Weightlifting

Ursula Papandrea
Ursula Papandrea

Weightlifting has been in turmoil since the beginning of this year. The German TV channel ARD also broadcasted a documentary which revealed a ‘culture of corruption’ in the sport. It intended to mask the use of doping in wightlifting. 

The Olympic body threatened last week to “reconsider weightlifting’s place on the programme of the Olympic Games in Paris 2024”.

In December, it must take a final decision on the events and quotas of athletes for the Paris mega-event.

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