Tamas Ajan – Photo: MOB

Former weightlifting president banned for life

Tamas Ajan, the former president of the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF), has been banned for life for covering up doping cases, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) announced on Thursday.

The 83-year-old Hungarian sports diplomat served as IWF secretary-general from 1976 and president from 2000 until his resignation in 2020.

CAS said in a statement that Ajan’s case involved “complicity in anti-doping rule violations involving multiple weightlifting athletes over a period of many years since 2012”.

A life ban for complicity was also imposed on former IWF deputy president Nicu Vlad of Romania.

The scandal broke out in 2020 after allegations by German state broadcaster ARD were verified by anti-doping investigator Richard McLaren.

The report of an investigation, led by McLaren, found that Ajan had operated “a culture of fear” at the organisation, interfering in the federation’s anti-doping efforts and pursuing “absolute control” over its finances.

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