Russians clear for weightlifting elections

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Three Russian officials have won a court ruling to overturn being barred from this weekend’s International Weightlifting Federation elections.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld appeals by Maxim Agapitov, who is an IWF board member, Dmitry Chernogorov and Aleksandr Kishkin. All three were excluded last month from the elections by a panel vetting potential candidates.

The IWF-appointed panel did not have authority to make what were effectively disciplinary decisions against the Russians, CAS said in a statement.

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Although Russian teams and athletes have been banned from many international competitions because of the country’s part in the war in Ukraine, the International Olympic Committee and most Olympic sports have not suspended their members from Russia.

The CAS verdict should clear the three men to stand for various IWF positions, including president, at the two-day election meeting in the Albanian capital of Tirana.

The elections are the IWF’s first since an investigation broadcast in January 2020 by German channel ARD accused the body of widespread corruption.

Long-time IWF president Tamas Ajan, a former IOC member, was ousted weeks later after being implicated in financial misconduct and tampering with the sport’s anti-doping program.

Ajan was banned from sports for life last week by a separate CAS panel.

The elections this weekend are key for the IWF to rebuild trust at the IOC. Weightlifting has been left off the sports program for the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics, with the IOC due to make a final decision next year.

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