BANGKOK Hugarian Tamas Ajan won his fifth term as president of the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) on Monday after using his status within the International Olympic Committee as a persuasive campaigning tool.
The 78-year-old will have been at the IWF for more than half a century when his latest four-year term ends.
He first joined the executive board in 1970 before becoming general secretary in 1976, a role he held until he was electedpresident in 2000.
He is an honorary member of the IOC and a foundation board member of the World Anti-Doping Agency.
The IOC is due to discuss the Olympic sports programme, and weightlifting’s place on it, in September.
Looking back over the past four years when weightlifting’s reputation has been damaged by doping cases, Ajan said: "The most important fact is that weightlifting has not onlyremained on the Olympic programme but has reconfirmed its permanent and respected status in the summer Olympic Games.
"Our relations with the IOC are close and mutually constructive."
Ajan, who won by 86 votes to 61 against European Weightlifting Federation president Antonio Urso, has also pledged to toughen the sport’s stance against doping, revamp thegrand prix series and establish women’s weightlifting in all the IWF’s member nations.
For the first time one of the IWF’s five vice-president roles went to a woman, Ursula Papandrea of the United States.
(Editing by Pritha Sarkar)