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Sports: World Weightlifting body has new President from Iraq

The International Weightlifting Federation has moved a step closer to regaining its spot as an Olympic sport for the 2028 Olympic games.

Facing heat over various issues plaguing its functioning and performance, including doping scandals, the world weightlifting body has been in reformatory mode for the past more than a year.

Besides making amendments to its Constitution in line with the requirements of the International Olympic Committee, it has taken a number of other steps to make its functioning transparent and in accordance with mandates of a clean sport.

At its general house meeting in Tirana, Albania, this weekend, it elected its new executive board.

Mr Mohammed Jalood of Iraq has been elected President. Though the CAS (Court for Arbitration in Sports) had overruled the interim committee recommendation of declaring officials of the Russian Weightlifting Federation ineligible for the Tirana elections, the new Executive Board as announced by the IWF, is not represented by any Russian official.

The election of the new IWF President and Executive Board confirmed the strong wish of the IWF member federations for a renewal and change within the organization, the world weightlifting body said in a statement.

While it was essential for some experienced leaders to remain, a total of 12 new members will now join the Board – making for a 66% change in the leadership team. In addition, the female representation was substantially increased above the quota. Furthermore, three dedicated athlete representative positions are now an integral part of the Board, with full voting rights.

The new IWF President Mohammed Jalood commented, “I am looking forward to getting started with my new team. We have been given the confidence and trust of our members to bring positive change and this is something that I am dedicated to doing. There is a renewed energy within our organization, I have already had the chance to discuss with my team who are ready to get to work and start delivering good things for our sport.

We have a lot of new members and a lot of good experience within the newly elected Executive Board. We have a much stronger female and athlete representation than ever before and we are all focused on the future of weightlifting and ensuring that we work with our Olympic partners.” The following have been elected to the executive board:

President: Mohammed Jalood (Iraq), General Secretary-Treasurer: Jose Quinones (Peru), First Vice President: Ursula Papandrea (USA), Vice Presidents: Attila Adamfi (Hungary), Doris Marrero (Venezuela), Petr Krol (Czech), and Pyrros Dimas (Greece), Executive Board members: Fathi Masmoudi (Tunisia),Florian Sperl (Germany), Gardencia Du Plooy (Republic of South Africa), Hiromi Miyake (Japan), Matthew Curtain (Great Britain), Mohammed Ahmed Alharbi (KSA), Sam Koffa (Australia), Tom Liaw (Singapore), Wen Shin Chang (Taipei), Yassiny Esquivel (CRC) and Forrester Christopher OSEI (Ghana), Presidents of Continental Federations: Mohammed Yousef Al Mana (Asia, Qatar), Antonio Conflitti (Europe, MDA),Marcus Stephen(OWF, NRU), Jose Carlos Quinones (Pan American Federation, Peru), Khaled Mehalhel (Africa, Liberia).

Prabhjot Singh