31 January 2020

IWF Executive Board appoints Richard H. McLaren to lead investigation into ARD allegations

The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) Executive Board today voted decisively to appoint Professor Richard H. McLaren to independently investigate allegations of impropriety surrounding President Dr. Tamas Ajan and the IWF. “I wish to thank the IWF for their trust in me and my team. As independent investigators we intend to follow every lead with the ultimate objective of uncovering the truth,” said Professor McLaren.

Professor McLaren, CEO of McLaren Global Sport Solutions Inc., will be Investigation Chair. Under his direction, Martin Dubbey will be Chief Investigator and Steven Berryman will be lead Financial Investigator.

Professor McLaren and his team have extensive experience in investigating misconduct in sport, including the 2016 investigation into allegations of state-sponsored doping by the Russian Federation. They will now look into the claims made by the Der Herr de Heber documentary on Germany’s ARD network on 5 January 2020.

The documentary claimed leadership of the IWF, including President Ajan, participated in and/or had knowledge of financial irregularities, corruption, doping control distribution, doping sample manipulation, doping payment irregularities, doping activities in specific nations and nepotism. In announcing the appointment of McLaren, IWF Acting President Ursula Garza Papandrea said, “As I have said in the past, we need someone who is not a friend of weightlifting to look into these serious and historic allegations. But if we are to get to the bottom of this, we required an investigator whose findings will be trusted and undeniable. That is why we selected Professor McLaren. I thank my fellow Executive Board members for their courage in taking this extraordinary, but necessary action.”

Professor McLaren will be free to follow the evidence wherever that may lead. A whistleblower line will be set up and a separate announcement will be made when that is operational.

The Investigation, led by Professor McLaren, is entirely independent. Professor McLaren will use the newly established IWF Oversight and Integrity Commission as his liaison to the IWF Executive Board. Professor McLaren is empowered to take whatever measures he sees fit to ensure each and every allegation is fully investigated and reported.

• This media release was published by the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) on 31 January 2020. Click here for the original.

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