An independent investigation led by the Canadian law professor Richard McLaren has found Tamas Ajanand, former president of International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) guilty in about 40 doping case cover-up and about $10.4m unaccounted for.
McLaren was scathing in his criticism of Tamás Ajánand his “autocratic, authoritarian leadership” of the IWF, where he served as general secretary and President for 44 years.
Mclaren said Aján was “obsessed with control”, and created “a culture of fear” that prevailed even after he was suspended in January.
Vote-buying at elections was carried out by “vote brokers” who paid cash for votes not just for Aján as President, but for his supporters to gain seats on the IWF Executive Board.
The investigation was carried out after the broadcast of a documentary, Lord of the Lifters, on the German state channel ARD in January.
Aján stood aside during the investigation and resigned on April 15, leaving the American Ursula Papandrea to take over as Acting President.
The key findings of the McLaren Independent Weightlifting Investigation, announced in Toronto in Canada were in relation to the areas of leadership, missing money, doping and vote-buying.
The report stated that Aján’s autocratic authoritarian leadership of the IWF resulted in a dysfunctional, ineffective oversight of the organisation by the Executive Board, which had an ill-informed understanding of the organisation.
This was achieved through various control mechanisms.
As a consequence, Aján disabled anyone other than himself from understanding the overall affairs of the IWF.
The foundational control mechanism used by Aján was the tyranny of cash.
Cash collected, cash withdrawn, and cash unaccounted for, for which Aján was the sole collector.
The primary sources of this cash were doping fines paid personally to the President and cash withdrawals of large amounts from the IWF’s accounts, usually withdrawn before major competitions or IWF congresses.
It is absolutely impossible to determine how much of the cash collected or withdrawn was used for legitimate expenses.
The McLaren Independent Investigation Team has determined that $10.4 million (£8.25 million/ €9.18 million) is unaccounted for.