International Weightlifting Federation
Formation1905; 119 years ago (1905)
TypeSports Federation
HeadquartersLausanne, Switzerland
Region served
Official language
Mohamed Hassan Jaloud
AffiliationsInternational Olympic Committee
Revenue (2018)
US$4.10 million[1]
Expenses (2018)US$9.19 million[1]

The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) (French: Fédération International d’Haltérophilie), is the international governing body for the sport of Weightlifting. It is headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland, has 193 affiliated national federations,[2] and its president since June 2022 is Mohammed Hasan Jalood of Iraq.[3]

The IWF organizes the World Weightlifting Championships, as well as world championship events for Youth and Juniors.[4] It also cooperates with the International Olympic Committee in the organization of Weightlifting events at the Olympic Games;[5] however weightlifting's inclusion in the 2028 Olympics is uncertain, due to doping issues within the sport, and governance issues within IWF, and weightlifting's inclusion is expected to be decided by an IOC meeting in 2023.[6] Weightlifting is scheduled as a sport in the upcoming 2024 Olympics, but with reduced numbers of athletes and events.[7][8]

IWF traces its history to the formation of the "Amateur-Athleten-Weltunion" (Amateur Athletes World Union) in 1905.[9]


The IWF's predecessor organization, the "Amateur-Athleten-Weltunion" (Amateur Athletes World Union) was founded in 1905. This organization governed both weightlifting and wrestling. In 1912 this became the "Internationaler Weltverband für Schwerathletik" (International Federation of Heavy Athletics), adding "Amateur" in 1913 to become the "Internationaler Amateur-Weltverband für Schwerathletik."[9][10]

In 1920, the federation split into separate organizations for weightlifting and wrestling, creating the Fédération Internationale de Poids et Halteres (International Federation of Weights and Dumbbells) for weightlifters, which then became the Fédération Haltérophile International (FHI).[10] In 1972, the Federation officially changed to the English version of this name by which it is now known—the International Weightlifting Federation.[9]


Other awards

Corruption, governance and doping scandals

In 2020 an investigative television program, broadcast on German TV network ARD, exposed doping and corruption scandals within the sport.[11] A subsequent investigation into the IWF, found that doping – an historic problem within the sport[12] – was exacerbated by systematic governance failures, corruption, and doping cover-ups at the highest level of IWF;[13] with Tamás Aján, president of IWF from 2000 to 2020,[14] being found guilty by the Court of Arbitration for Sport of charges relating to tampering, fraudulent conduct and complicity in covering-up years of doping cases.[11]

Citing endemic corruption in IWF, and widespread doping issues, the International Olympic Committee has threatened to drop weightlifting entirely from the Olympics unless substantial reforms are made to the sport.[15][16]

Consequently, as of 2021, weightlifting isn't in the line up of the 2028 Olympics. There is, nevertheless, a pathway for weightlifting's potential inclusion, if all issues are satisfactorily addressed by the new leadership of IWF before a key meeting of the International Olympic Committee in 2023. The IOC requires the IWF to demonstrate its transition "towards compliance and an effective change of culture", and successfully address doping within the sport and "ensure the integrity, robustness, and full independence of its anti-doping programme."[6][17]

In 2020, in response to the scandal, IWF, being temporarily run by interim acting president Ursula Papandrea, initiated relocation of its headquarters from Aján's home city of Budapest to Lausanne, Switzerland, where the headquarters of the IOC is also located.[18][19] In June 2022, a new IWF executive board was elected by IWF's member federations, with the new president Mohammed Hasan Jalood saying he is "dedicated" to "positive change".[20]

Weightlifting is scheduled as part of the 2024 Olympics program in Paris, although with reduced numbers of athletes, weight-classes, and events.[7][8]

Response to Russian invasion of Ukraine

In response to the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, the IWF suspended athletes, coaches, and support personnel from Russia and Belarus on March 3, 2022, and forbade Russia from hosting any IWF competitions.[21]

In January 2023, IWF stated: "The IWF stands in solidarity with Ukraine and reaffirms its support for the IOC’s sanctions against the Russian and Belarusian State and Government. The IWF believes strongly in the unifying mission of sport and the Olympic Movement and welcomes the exploration of a pathway for Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete under strict conditions. The IWF will uphold the current protective measures in place while this pathway is considered."[22]

Continental federations

IWF's affiliated continental federations are:[23]

See also


  1. ^ a b Perelman, Rich (24 May 2020). "Who's in the money? EXCLUSIVE analysis of our survey of International Federation finances". The Sports Examiner. Retrieved 5 June 2022.
  2. ^ "About Us". International Weightlifting Federation. Retrieved 29 January 2023.
  3. ^ "Its Olympic future in doubt, weightlifting names new leader". The Washington Post. 25 June 2022. Retrieved 25 June 2022.
  4. ^ "Competitions". inside the games. 14 December 2015. Archived from the original on 5 August 2016. Retrieved 29 January 2023.
  5. ^ "About". International Weightlifting Federation. Retrieved 8 November 2015.
  6. ^ a b Cooper, Edward (16 December 2021). "Weightlifting Won't Be In 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles". Men's Health. Retrieved 29 January 2023.
  7. ^ a b "Only four of Tokyo Olympic weight classes retained for Paris 2024 weightlifting". 21 December 2021. Retrieved 30 January 2023.
  8. ^ a b Perelman, Rich (8 December 2020). "LANE ONE: Paris 2024 program approved, with four added sports, eight event changes and punishment for weightlifting". The Sports Examiner. Retrieved 30 January 2023.
  9. ^ a b c "Weightlifting History". International Weightlifting Federation. Retrieved 25 January 2023.
  10. ^ a b "Olympedia – International Weightlifting Federation". Retrieved 30 January 2023.
  11. ^ a b "Tamas Ajan, ex-weightlifting federation president, gets life ban over doping". OlympicTalk | NBC Sports. 16 June 2022. Retrieved 29 January 2023.
  12. ^ "IOC concerned by 'very serious' doping allegations in weightlifting". The Guardian. 6 January 2020. Retrieved 8 August 2021.
  13. ^ "Investigation finds doping cover-ups in weightlifting". AP NEWS. 4 June 2020. Retrieved 29 January 2023.
  14. ^ Fujita, Junko (8 August 2021). "Olympics-Weightlifting-Tokyo 2020 marked by firsts, but recent scandals cloud outlook". Reuters. Retrieved 8 August 2021.
  15. ^ "IOC gives itself more power to remove sports from Olympics". The Washington Post. 8 August 2021. Retrieved 8 August 2021.
  16. ^ Georgiev, Ognian; Belson, Ken (28 July 2021). "Weight Lifting, an Original Olympic Sport, May Be Dropped". The New York Times. Retrieved 8 August 2021.
  17. ^ "Boxing and weightlifting risk being dropped from Olympics after scandals". the Guardian. 9 December 2021. Retrieved 29 January 2023.
  18. ^ "IWF moves from Hungary to Lausanne under new American leadership". 23 April 2020. Retrieved 29 January 2023.
  19. ^ "IWF Welcomes the Sports World to its Headquarters in Lausanne". International Weightlifting Federation. 23 April 2022. Retrieved 29 January 2023.
  20. ^ "New IWF leader Jalood and his team "ready for change"". 26 June 2022. Retrieved 29 January 2023.
  21. ^ "Agapitov actively supporting war say Ukraine Weightlifting Federation". 21 March 2022.
  22. ^ "IWF statement". International Weightlifting Federation. 26 January 2023. Retrieved 29 January 2023.
  23. ^ "Continental Federations". International Weightlifting Federation. Archived from the original on 19 October 2008. Retrieved 12 December 2008.