Puentevella: IWF to adopt new constitution for 2024 Paris inclusion

Published September 2, 2021, 3:09 PM

by Waylon Galvez

Monico Puentevella at the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) meeting in Doha, Qatar. (Photo courtesy of the Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas)

Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas (SWP) head Monico Puentevella expressed optimism on the inclusion of weightlifting in the 2024 Paris Olympics after members of the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) recently voted to adopt a new constitution.

Puentevella said the federation acted swiftly on the recommendations of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to resolve the issue or face the possibility of suspension in the Paris Summer Games.

“It’s all good, it’s already been resolved by members of the IWF during our meeting in Qatar. Expect weightlifting in Paris – hindi mawawala ang weightlifting in the 2024 Olympics,” Puentevella said in a phone interview with Manila Bulletin Thursday, Sept. 2.

Puentevella, former executive board member of the IWF and president of the Asian Weightlifting Federation, personally attended the meeting in Doha and addressed fellow members of the IWF in a speech.

The members of the IWF met last Sunday in Doha, and in a press release shared by Puentevella, it said that of the 133 federation members represented at the meeting, more than two-thirds voted in favor of the new measures.

The federation approved to adopt a new, and “independently drafted Constitution that will radically overhaul the IWF’s governance” which is what the IOC wants even before the Tokyo Olympics.

According to IWF interim President Michael Irani: “It was only in October of last year that the IWF was able to come to consensus around appointing independent members to the Reform and Governance Commission (RGC), a critical step in putting the problems of the past behind us.”

He added: “To have adopted an entirely new Constitution after widespread consultation, and in just 10 months during the pandemic, is a real demonstration of the IWF’s determination to move towards a brighter future that is based on solid foundations.”

In the press release, the new Constitution will establish vital principles including athlete representation, gender equality and independent oversight. No fewer than three athlete representatives will serve on the reformed IWF Executive Board, while at least 30 percent of elected positions will be filled by women.

Also, the ethics and discipline issues will be handled independently of the IWF Executive Board, building on interim arrangements that had already been put in place in recent months.

Robust eligibility criteria and term limits will ensure that the future IWF Executive Board benefits from a regular influx of new talents and will notably deprive National Federations with a high number of doping cases will not have access to board-level representation.

“On behalf of the entire IWF, I would like to sincerely thank all those involved in the creation and refinement of this new constitution,” added Irani, who expressed his gratitude to the support and guidance of ITA, WADA, ASOIF and the IOC.

The final Constitution will be sent to the Member Federations in the coming days.