Weightlifting Chief Steps Aside for Doping and Graft Probe

The president of the International Weightlifting Federation, IWF, will step aside for 90 days to allow independent investigators to look into allegations of corruption and doping violations made against him by a German TV station, the organization announced on Wednesday. 

Tamas AjanTamas Ajan recieved the medal from Dmitry Medvedev for promoting sports cooperation. (Credit: kremlin.ru)IWF found itself in turmoil when German broadcaster ARD released a documentary about the alleged doping schemes used with the knowledge of the head of the IMW, Tamas Ajan. 

The IWF has already denied the claims made in the documentary that half of the 450 medallists’s urine samples at Olympic and World Championships between 2008 and 2018 were either not tested or the athletes paid money to be able to give manipulated urine samples to controllers.

Many members of the board have criticized Ajan after the documentary was released, Reuters reported.

In an extraordinary 13-hour meeting of the IWF Executive Board (EB) on Tuesday in Doha, the board concluded it needs to “act decisively to restore the IWF’s reputation.” 

According to the statement issued afterwards, the board analyzed the allegations point-by-point and decided on a detailed plan of action that includes the resignation of the president for 90 days while an independent investigation is conducted. 

Ajan claims the allegations as "slanderous" and "unjust". 

“They are not supported by the relevant documentation or by people involved in the relevant decisions. Consequently, I have no doubt that external experts will vindicate my commitment of nearly fifty years to develop the sport of weightlifting,” the IWF’s statement quoted Ajan.

In an interview with Hungarian media, Ajan claimed the film ruined both his life and work he has done for weightlifting.

For the time of his absence, Ajan delegated most of his duties to IWF Vice President Ursula Papandrea.