The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) has announced a new and tougher anti-doping plan. The new policy, agreed in April and ratified recently, becomes effective from June 15.

The sport’s new anti-doping policy allows the IWF to damage future prospects of countries if their weightlifters who have been disqualified from podium positions at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games for testing positive fail to return the medals. This policy also allows the International Weightlifting Federation’s (IWF) Executive Board to sanction nations whose athletes repeatedly fail to comply with whereabouts requirements of the IWF.

Few days back, the IWF revealed a new method of reporting suspected cheating on its website. The 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games were recently retested and 49 weightlifters were caught cheating.  Of those who tested positive, 30 were medalists – 11 women and five men in Beijing, plus 10 women, and four men from London.

The International Weightlifting Federation had made three significant announcements in the days leading up to the elections for President and a range of other decision-making roles. A new three-year broadcasting deal was announced with Lagardere that will help with “a reimagining” of the grand prix series and televise the next three IWF World Championships.

Tamás Aján was recently re-elected for a fifth term as President of the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) after he defeated his main rival Antonio Urso in the vote. Aján won by 86 votes to 61; he had also won 80-55 against the Italian in the 2013 election. In 1971, the 78-year-old Hungarian was first elected to the IWF’s Executive Board and became general secretary in 1976 and then President in 2000. Aján will have been at the IWF for more than half-a-century when his latest four-year term ends in 2021.

Aján has pledged to establish women’s weightlifting in all member nations. Aján is an honorary member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and a Foundation Board member of the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Aján said before the vote that the most important fact is that weightlifting has not only remained on the Olympic program but has reconfirmed its permanent and respected status in the Summer Olympic Games. Aján also had remarked that our relations with the IOC are close and mutually constructive.

Aján provided a buoyant update on IWF affairs, and especially finances, before the vote to the delegates. The IWF has $37.5 million (£29 million/€34 million) in reserve, a record level that puts it in “a very strong financial position” and is $14 million (£11 million/€12.5 million) higher than the target set in 2012. Aján had also added that there had been progress in the past four years in every area of activities – in organization, management, governance, sports-specific control and supervision, financial management, communication, marketing, anti-doping, continental federation relations, member federation relations, education, development, and gender equality.

Ursula Papandrea was elected as the IWF’s first female vice-president. Sam Coffa lost his place as a vice-president. Coffa had been an administrator in the sport for 59 years.

China’s Ma Wenguang, another Urso supporter, was defeated in the voting for general secretary by Mohammed Jaloud of Iraq. The first vice-president is Thailand’s Maj Gen Intarat Yodbangtoey, who was unopposed.

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