IWFInternational Weightlifting Federation

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1.1 Name and Principles

1.1.1 The INTERNATIONAL WEIGHTLIFTING FEDERATION hereinafter called "IWF" is a permanent organisation founded in 1905. The Federation is composed of the affiliated National Federations governing the sport of weightlifting on the basis of one federation per country.

1.1.2 The IWF is the controlling body of all competitive lifting. This means all competitions judged by lifting weights on a bar, regardless of the dimension or the shape of the bar and the weights.

1.2 Objectives

The objectives of the IWF are the following:

1.2.1 Organise, control and develop the sport of weightlifting on an international scale.

1.2.2 Promote friendship and cooperation among the National Federations and the athletes from all countries.

1.2.3 Assist the National Federations in their activities.

1.2.4 Resolve disputes that may arise within the sport between its affiliated National, Continental and / or Regional Federations and this as the highest authority in weightlifting.

1.2.5 Set up the rules of weightlifting.

1.2.6 Control and regulate all organised international weightlifting events.

1.2.7 Supervise the activities of continental and regional federations according to the IWF Constitution, By-Laws and Rules.

1.2.8 Verify all world records.


2.1 Emblem

2.1.1 The emblem of the IWF consists of the following elements:

The terrestrial globe with its meridians and parallels. On the right of the globe, a hand holds a barbell with three discs on which the letters IWF are inscribed.

A laurel wreath surrounds the globe.

The globe and laurel wreath are placed in two concentric circles between which is written: INTERNATIONAL WEIGHTLIFTING FEDERATION ? FOUNDED 1905

2.1.2 The colours of the emblem are:

BLUE: for the globe

GOLD: for the hand, the barbell and the wreath

BLACK: for the meridians, the parallels, the circles, the letters IWF and the text.

2.2 Flag

2.2.1 The flag of the IWF is the emblem on a white background.

2.3 Authorisation

2.3.1 The IWF emblem must not be used without the IWF's authorisation.

2.3.2 Only the IWF may authorise the fabrication of its emblem, badges, medals, etc.


3.1 The IWF is recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the General Association of International Sport Federations (GAISF) and the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) as the sole controlling body for international weightlifting.

3.2 In its activities, the IWF follows the Olympic ideal and principles.

3.3 All political and religious discussions or demonstrations are forbidden within the IWF.

3.4 The IWF supports all initiatives by weightlifters for peace and understanding.

3.5 No distinction is made between continents, countries or individuals for reasons of race, colour, gender, religion or politics.


4.1 The official languages of the IWF are Arabic, English, French, German, Russian and Spanish. English is the working language. Representatives from any of the affiliated countries may speak in their mother tongue, translated in English by an interpreter.

4.2 All the publications and reports of the IWF are in English. The proceedings of the meetings of the Executive Board and the Committees are held in English.

4.3 The organisers of the Annual Congress have to provide facilities and interpreters for simultaneous translation in the official languages of the IWF and, when applicable, in their own language.


5.1 The IWF is composed of the following bodies:

  • the Congress
  • the Executive Board
  • the Committees


6.1 General provisions

6.1.1 The highest power within the IWF is the Congress.

6.1.2 The Congress is composed of the delegations of the IWF affiliated Federations. Only the Federations which have paid the membership fees for the current year may participate and vote at the Congress. Each member country may be represented by two (2) delegates but is entitled to only one vote. The delegates must be citizens of the country they represent. Voting by proxy is not permitted.

6.1.3 Competitors participating in the competitions that precede or follow the Congress may be delegates only when there are no officials of their Federation in attendance. They must give proof of their appointment by their Federation.

6.1.4 Before the opening of the Congress, a commission made up of three (3) persons verifies the credentials of all the delegates.

6.1.5 The presence of the President and the General Secretary is compulsory at all Congresses.

6.1.6 Only items on the agenda may be discussed at the Congress.

6.1.7 Propositions to be put on the agenda must be sent to the General Secretary at least sixty (60) days before the date of the Congress.

6.1.8 The General Secretary prepares the agenda from the propositions submitted by its affiliated Federations, the Executive Board and the Committees.

6.1.9 At the Congress held in conjunction with World Championships, the following item must be dealt with:

Technical information concerning the World Championships.

6.1.10 The Executive Board must approve the items and the order of discussion of the agenda.

6.1.11 The decisions of the Congress must be approved by a majority vote of the delegations present and voting and they come into force after their publication by the IWF.

Decisions on the following questions must be passed with a majority of at least 2/3rd of the votes of the delegates in attendance:

Modification of the constitution

Affiliation of new member federations.

6.1.12 The President decides the number and the duration of the speeches allowed to the delegates in order to avoid unnecessary prolongation of the Congress.

6.1.13 The sessions of the IWF Congresses are private.

6.1.14 The disciplinary decisions of the Congress are final and there can be no appeal at a subsequent Congress.

6.2 Annual Congress

6.2.1 The Annual Congress of the IWF is organised every year, in conjunction with the Senior World Championships.

6.2.2 The following items must be on the agenda:

Affiliation of new members

Examination and approval of the annual reports of the activities of the Executive Board and the Committees

Filling of vacancies on the Executive Board and the Committees

Information on the preparation of the forthcoming World Championships

Questions of importance concerning the sport of weightlifting

Ratification of modifications of Technical rules approved by the Executive Board

Ratification of the Executive Board?s decision on the allocation of World Championships.

6.2.3 The respective annual reports of the President, the General Secretary and the Committees' Chairmen are prepared and sent to the member Federations not later than (30) days prior to the Congress.

6.3 General Congress

6.3.1 On the occasion of the Junior World Championships, the IWF organises a General Congress.

6.3.2 Items of vital concern for international weightlifting as well as items proposed by the member Federations or the elected IWF officials are included on the agenda.

6.4 Electoral Congress

6.4.1 In the year of the Summer Olympic Games, the IWF holds its Electoral Congress. The Executive Board decides on the date and its location.

6.4.2 In addition to the agenda of the Annual Congress, the Electoral Congress, decides on the following:

Election of the members of the Executive Board and the Committees

Modification of the IWF Constitution and Rules.

6.4.3 The Electoral Congress may last up to two (2) working days.

6.4.4 The propositions to be put on the agenda of the Electoral Congress must be sent to the General Secretary six (6) months before the date fixed for the Congress.

6.4.5 Proposals for the modification of the Constitution, By-Laws and Technical Rules must be sent to the General Secretary by the National Federations and the elected Committee members by the date specified by the Executive Board. This is to allow sufficient time for the IWF Committees to study these proposals.

6.4.6 The revised Constitution, By-Laws and Rules come into force on the date decided by the Executive Board.

6.4.7 Only the member Federations that have paid their membership fees to the IWF for each of the four (4) years of the current Olympiad may participate and vote at the Congress.

6.5 Extraordinary Congress

6.5.1 If requested by a minimum of 25 % of the affiliated National Federations, the Executive Board must convene an Extraordinary Congress to be held within (60) days after receiving the request.


7.1 Between Congresses, the Executive Board administers the IWF. The Executive Board decides on all matters concerning the sport of weightlifting and its organisation in the best interest of the sport. It is also responsible for ensuring adequate personnel and facilities for the efficient operation of the Federation. An additional duty is to decide on financial matters concerning the operation of the Federation.

7.2 Composition of the Executive Board

7.2.1 Elected members:

  • The President
  • The General Secretary-Treasurer
  • Six (6) Vice-presidents
  • Eight (8) members.

7.2.2 Co-opted members:

The Presidents of the Continental Federations.

7.2.3 Appointed members:

When deemed necessary, the Executive Board may make special appointments provided that the National Federation of the person(s) concerned agrees with the appointment. The basic selection criterion is that the appointee must have a continuous history of serving the IWF on the Executive Board or the Committees. An Appointed Member has no voting right.

7.2.4 Assistant Secretary:

The Assistant Secretary is a member of the Executive Board and must attend the meetings of the Board but does not have voting right. Should the General Secretary be unable, for any reason, to attend an Executive Board meeting, the Assistant Secretary automatically has the right to vote.

7.3 A country may have only one representative with voting power on the Executive Board, the elected member enjoying priority.

7.4 Two members from the same country cannot be elected to the Executive Board.

7.5 The sittings of the Executive Board are private and confidential.

7.6 Minutes of the meeting of the Executive Board are kept and the Secretariat must send copies to all members.

7.7 The Executive Board must meet at least once a year.

7.8 Between Congresses, the Executive Board has the authority to change or modify Technical Rules and By-Laws when it is considered necessary and desirable. However such changes or modifications must be put before the following Congress for their final ratification.

7.9 For the World Championships, the Executive Board and the Technical Committee select the juries, the technical controllers and the referees and the Executive Board approves the nomination of the doctors on duty who have been selected by the Medical Committee.

7.10 In the interest of a coordinated worldwide control of the sport of weightlifting, the Executive Board may carry out joint meetings with the Executive Board of the Continental Federations.

7.11 The Executive Board has the right to appoint special commissions to attend to specific tasks, within its own powers.

7.12 The Executive Board selects and allocates the World Championships.

7.13 At its first meeting, the newly elected Executive Board makes its appointments.

7.14 The Executive Board liaises with a Masters Committee to ensure the worldwide coordination of masters? weightlifting.


8.1 General provisions

8.1.1 The following four Committees are elected by the IWF Congress:

the Technical Committee

the Scientific and Research Committee

the Medical Committee

the Auditors? Committee

8.1.2 The Technical, the Scientific and Research and the Medical Committees consist of a Chairman and ten members each.  Their ten members (see 9.3.1, exception for the Medical and Scientific Research Committees) are elected by the Congress.  The Chairmen are appointed from among the Executive Board members and only have a decisive vote in the event of a tie.  The Chairmen of the different committees of the Continental Federations are invited as observers, without voting rights, at the meetings of the IWF respective committees.

8.1.3 The President and the General Secretary are ex-officio members of all the Committees, but without voting power.

8.1.4 All Committees must meet at least once a year. At all meetings, minutes must be kept and a list of attendance signed.

8.1.5 The sittings of all the Committees are private.

8.1.6 Attendance at the meetings is compulsory for its members. Members unable to attend must inform the General Secretary, prior to the meeting, and give the reasons for their absence.

8.1.7 The Executive Board has the power to suspend members who, without valid reasons, have been absent from two consecutive Board or Committees meetings.

8.1.8 Between Congresses, the Executive Board has the right to replace members, who for any reason, have discontinued to serve the IWF in the Committees. New members serve until the next Electoral Congress.

8.2 Technical Committee

8.2.1 The Technical Committee, together with the Executive Board selects the juries, the technical controllers and the referees for the World Championships.

8.2.2 Deals with refereeing questions.

8.2.3 Conducts refereeing courses.

8.2.4 Supervises referee examinations and prepares examination papers.

8.2.5 Takes measures to improve the level of refereeing.

8.2.6 In cooperation with the General Secretary, takes charge of the competitions and ensures that all the equipment conforms to the IWF Technical rules.

8.2.7 Supervises the implementation of the IWF rules at Olympic Games, World Championships, Continental, Regional and other Games and controls the competitions from the refereeing standpoint.

8.2.8 Ensures that all IWF standards are met concerning equipment and the facilities appertaining to the conduct of the sport (in collaboration with the Scientific and Research Committee).

8.2.9 Sets up the list of recommended referees.

8.2.10 Cooperates with the other Committees.

8.2.11 Candidates for the Technical Committee are required to be Category 1 referees before being elected or appointed to this Committee. The candidates must include their curriculum vitae when applying for the position.

8.3 Scientific and Research Committee

8.3.1 This Committee studies and develops questions related to weightlifting training and preparation for competitions.

8.3.2 Studies methods of improving weightlifting techniques.

8.3.3 Studies, develops and makes known modern training methods.

8.3.4 Studies and develops methods of involving youth in the sport of weightlifting.

8.3.5 Distributes films and publishes technical information, bulletins and various other publications on weightlifting.

8.3.6 Proposes themes for coaching clinics and appoints lecturers to present them.

8.3.7 Adopts a position concerning sports equipment from the coaches' standpoint.

8.3.8 Adopts a position concerning the Technical rules from the coaches' standpoint.

8.3.9 Cooperates with the other Committees.

8.3.10 Studies and elaborates programmes for male and female athletes of all ages.

8.3.11 Candidates for the Scientific and Research Committee must have either a physical education diploma or appropriate experience in the field of weightlifting coaching, pedagogy, psychology or biology.

8.4 Medical Committee

8.4.1 This Committee safeguards the health of the athletes involved in the sport of weightlifting.

8.4.2 Advises the organisers of World Championships in a consultative capacity on medical, hygienic, nutritional and related matters.

8.4.3 At World Championships, contacts the organising committee to ensure the provision of medical supplies, doping control, transportation and medical services as required by the Regulation of the Championships.

8.4.4 Appoints doctors on duty for each day of the World Championships and proposes to the Executive Board the names of the doctors on duty at the Olympic Games.

8.4.5 Collects medical data on the long-term effects of weightlifting on the human body.

8.4.6 Prepares material for the promotion of weightlifting as a method of improving health and fitness.

8.4.7 Develops educational programmes pertaining to bodyweight control, training, injury management and the use and abuse of medicines and banned substances.

8.4.8 In collaboration with the Scientific and Research Committee, coordinates the planning and implementation of research on weightlifting.

8.4.9 Cooperates with all other IWF Committees and Medical Committees of the Continental Federations on matters of mutual concern.

8.4.10 Cooperates with any appropriate organisation, which it may consider to be beneficial to weightlifting.

8.4.11 Organises and participates in medical symposia and workshops.

8.4.12 At World Championships, a doctor representing the organising Federation may attend the meeting of the Medical Committee, but without voting power.

8.4.13 Candidates for the Medical Committee must be doctors of medicine

8.5 Auditors Committee

8.5.1 The Congress elects three (3) auditors.

8.5.2 The presence of two of the auditors constitutes a quorum.

The auditors:

Audit the IWF accounts once a year and present a report to the IWF Executive Board and the Congress.

Act as financial advisors to the Executive Board.

When requested, seek and explore any avenue to improve the financial situation of the IWF.

8.5.4 Candidates for the Auditors Committee must have a relevant experience in bookkeeping, finance or economics.


9.1 General provisions

9.1.1 Members of the Executive Board and the Committees are elected at the Electoral Congress and they serve until the next Electoral Congress or until the end of the next Olympic Games, whichever is the latter.

9.1.2 Candidatures for the various positions must reach the IWF Secretariat by registered mail at least three (3) months before the date of the Congress. The National Federations must send these candidatures. The candidates who miss this date are not eligible for election. An official receipt from the Secretariat will validate their nomination.

9.1.3 The affiliated National Federations may only propose bona fide candidates. These candidates must be citizens of the country they represent and their National Federation must cover the costs associated with attendance at the different meetings.

9.1.4 A person may be a candidate for various positions within the IWF but may only be elected to one. Unsuccessful candidates are not automatically eligible for elections to another position. Nominations must be made specifically for each position to be contested.

9.1.5 For the elections, the President appoints three (3) scrutineers who distribute, collect and count the ballots.

9.1.6 When two or more candidates obtain an equal number of votes, another ballot is held. If after the second ballot there is still a tie, the President may cast a deciding vote.

9.1.7 Each of the affiliated Federations is entitled to only one vote.

9.1.8 Elections are carried out by secret ballot, except when there is only one candidate for a position.

9.1.9 The order of the election is as follows:

  • the Executive Board
  • the Technical Committee
  • the Medical Committee
  • the Scientific and Research Committee
  • the Auditors Committee

9.1.10 Unsuccessful candidates may run for election in other committees; however, when a country has more than one candidate for a specific position, their National Federation must give its order of preference so that only one of its candidates is listed on each ballot list.

9.1.11 The election is by simple majority, i.e. the person who has obtained the highest number of votes is elected.

9.1.12 The IWF President and the General Secretary must be elected by absolute majority. In the case of more than two candidates, the one with the lowest number of votes will drop out in each round until one the candidates receives the absolute majority.

9.1.13 Only the ballot papers, which carry votes for as many candidates as there are vacancies, are valid.

9.2 Election of the Executive Board

9.2.1 The order of the election is as follows:

  • the President
  • the General Secretary-Treasurer
  • the six (6) Vice-Presidents
  • the eight (8) Members.

9.2.2 With the election of the General Secretary-Treasurer, the person listed with him or her as Assistant Secretary is automatically elected.

9.2.3 In the case of a vacancy for the President or the General Secretary, the first Vice-President or the Assistant Secretary respectively fulfil their functions until the next Congress which regularises the appointment. In the case of other vacancies on the Executive Board, members will be replaced at the next Congress. All the members elected to fill vacancies must fulfil their functions for the period remaining.

9.2.4 The ranking of the Vice-President is according to the number of votes each has received in the election. The Vice-President with the highest number of votes becomes the 1st Vice-President.

9.3 Election of the Committees

9.3.1 The Congress elects ten (10) members to the Technical Committee and six (6) members to the Medical and Scientific and Research Committees and the members of the Auditors? Committee. The remaining four members of the Medical and the Scientific and Reasearch Committes are appointed by the Executive Board.


The President and General Secretary work in close cooperation to share responsibilities in the administrative and operative procedures required to fulfil the decisions and directions of the Congress and the Executive Board.

The President of the IWF:

10.1 Presides over debates and keeps order at the Congress and at the meetings of the Executive Board according to the tradition and rules of parliamentary debates.

10.2 Attends World Championships and Olympic Games. The Organizing Committee pays the travel and accommodation expenses (room and board).

10.3 Attends the Executive Board meetings. When these meetings are not held in conjunction with the World Championships, the travel and accommodation expenses are paid by the IWF.

10.4 Represents the IWF at the meetings of the IOC, GAISF, ASOIF and other sports organisations of which the IWF is a member. A report on these activities has to be submitted at the following Executive Board meeting and written general information, when needed, has to be given at the following IWF Congress. The IWF pays the expenses to attend these meetings.

10.5 May preside over the Jury at World Championships, Olympic Games and other international events, as per the relevant decision of the Executive Board.

10.6 Plays the leading part in the Opening and Closing Ceremonies at the World Championships.

10.7 Presents the medals to the winners in the Victory Ceremonies at the World Championships. The President may from time to time delegate other persons for this duty.

10.8 When the President is not available, the duties are taken over by the next available Vice-President, according to their ranking.

10.9 Has the casting vote in the event of a tie.


The General Secretary and the President work in close cooperation to share responsibilities in the administrative and operative procedures required to fulfil the decisions and directions of the Congress and the Executive Board.

The General Secretary-Treasurer of the IWF:

11.1 Organises the sport of weightlifting throughout the world, in accordance with the IWF Constitution, By-Laws and Rules, the decisions of the Congress and the Executive Board or on extraordinary occasions, in consultation with the President.

11.2 Together with the President, negotiates and signs all contracts between the IWF and other organisations and companies.

11.3 Together with the President, submits annually an activity report and a complete financial report to the Executive Board. This activity report and an annual financial report must be presented to the Congress.

11.4 Attends obligatorily the Olympic Games, Regional Games and World Championships for juniors and seniors. As the official representative of the IWF, personally controls the entire organisation of these championships to ensure that they are held in accordance with the Constitution and Rules of the IWF. This verification is done before the event is held and the organising Federation must pay the travel and accommodation expenses (room and board). When the General Secretary is unable to attend, the Assistant Secretary or a delegate nominated in consultation with the President assumes these duties.

11.5 Represents the IWF at the IOC, GAISF, ASOIF and other international sports organisations? meetings. Represents the IWF at all negotiations concluded on its behalf. On all these occasions, the travel and accommodation expenses are paid by the IWF.


12.1 In the interest of the worldwide progress and promotion of weightlifting, upon individual assignment by the Executive Board, focus on the following subjects and tasks:

  • Substitute and represent the IWF President in the order of ranking.
  • The IWF Development Programme
  • The IWF's finances and identification of new financial resources ? in collaboration with the General Secretary Treasurer
  • Publications, communication and media relations
  • Women's weightlifting.

12.2 Assist in the running of the Congresses when appointed by the President (verification of delegates, scrutinising, etc.).

12.3 Give support to the organising committee, according to the IWF Constitution and Rules, when they are present at the Olympic Games, World and Continental Championships and other Games.

12.4 Are active in their respective country and region as representatives of the IWF.

12.5 Contribute to the publication of IWF books, magazines, etc. by submitting articles and various materials.

12.6 Submit proposals and search for possibilities to improve the finances of the IWF.

12.7 In the absence of the General Secretary, and by appointment, represent the IWF at Continental and Regional Games.

12.8 In addition to the above, the Committee Chairmen have the following duties:

In coordination with the General Secretary, they convene the meetings of their respective Committees following the annual programme of the IWF.

They preside over the meetings and submit a report on their Committee's activities. These reports have to be sent to the General Secretary two (2) months before the Congress and are included in the reports for the Congress.

The Medical and Technical Committee Chairmen participate in the World Championships.


13.1 The Executive Board may honour former Presidents, Vice-Presidents, General Secretaries or Executive Board members for the merit they have earned by their work within the IWF by appointing them ?Honorary Life President?, ?Honorary Life Vice-President?, ?Honorary Life General Secretary? or ?Honorary Life Member? of the IWF. These persons may participate in the IWF Congresses. They may also attend the Executive Board meetings in a consultative capacity if invited by the Executive Board.


14.1 The Secretariat is the headquarters of the IWF.

14.2 It is under the responsibility and the authority of the President and the General Secretary.

14.3 The Executive Board decides on its location.

14.4 It is the administrative and communication centre of the IWF. Its main task is to ensure the efficient running of the Federation.

14.4 In order to fulfil its duties, it must be appropriately staffed and must have adequate office facilities.

14.5 It corresponds and maintains relations with the National Federations, the IOC, the GAISF, ASOIF, the National Olympic Committees and other organisations and individuals. All communications concerning the IWF should be attended to by the Secretariat.

14.6 It regularly publishes information relating to the sport of weightlifting and the IWF.

14.7 It verifies and registers world records. Establishes and publishes World Ranking Lists.

14.8 It prepares the agenda for the Congress, the various meetings of the Executive Board and the Committees and sends it to the persons concerned, thirty (30) days before the date of the meetings.

14.9 It regularly publishes information gathered at the Congresses, Executive Board and Committee meetings and sends it to the affiliated Federations, the members of the Board and the Committees.

14.10 It issues and keeps a record of the international referee cards.

14.11 It attends to all financial matters of the IWF, receives all payments, pays all expenses and keeps the accounts.  Prepares the estimated budget for information and revision by the Executive Board.

14.12 Orders and distributes the IWF publications, honour awards, badges, etc.


15.1 Any National Federation wishing to affiliate to the IWF must send the following documents to the Secretariat:

  • A request for affiliation signed by their President and General Secretary
  • A copy of their Constitution
  • The list of their Executive Committee
  • An attestation from their National Olympic Committee or highest sport authority certifying that the Federation is recognised as the controlling body for weightlifting in their country
  • The affiliation fee of $ 500 US (five hundred US dollars).

15.2 An application for membership implies complete recognition of the Constitution, By-Laws and Rules of the IWF.  After depositing the documents and paying the membership fee, the Federation is affiliated by the Executive Board. This decision has to be ratified by the next Congress.

15.3 A National Federation may not be affiliated both with the IWF and other worldwide organisations within the sport of weightlifting.


16.1 National Federations are the recognised governing national bodies of weightlifting who, by affiliation, constitute the membership of the IWF.

16.2 Obligations of the Federations

16.2.1 Regularly elect / appoint their President, General Secretary and officials and inform the IWF about their election / appointment.

16.2.2 Organise the sport of weightlifting in their country, including the national championships to be held annually. Results of these championships must be sent to the IWF. Similarly, the organising Federation must forward results of any international event to the IWF.

The reports sent to the Secretariat must contain the following information:

  • the complete names of the athletes, listed by lot number and groups
  • their country
  • their date of birth
  • their bodyweight
  • all the attempts
  • the names of all the officials
  • the records, if any.

16.2.3 Pay the annual membership fee to the IWF in accordance with points 18.1 and 18.2.

16.2.4 Keep the IWF informed about the developments of weightlifting in their country and responds to IWF requests, circulars, questionnaires, etc.

16.2.5 Submit proposals for the modification of the IWF Constitution, Technical Rules and By-Laws whenever requested.

16.2.6 Accept and execute the decision of the IWF Congress and the Executive Board.

16.2.7 Attend the Annual Congress whenever possible.

16.2.8 National Federations may engage in equipment contracts allowing generalised advertising. Payments must be made to the National Federation concerned and not directly to individual athletes.

16.3 obligations OF THE IWF towards the National Federations

16.3.1 Keep the National Federations informed on all matters of international importance, e.g. calendar of events, results of major competitions, ranking lists, elections, membership, referee registration, etc.

16.3.2 Inform the National Federations about the decisions of the Congress and the Executive Board.

16.3.3 Issue the IWF Constitution, By-Laws and Technical Rules and distribute them to the National Federations. Publish and disseminate technical information on weightlifting to enhance the sport worldwide.

16.3.4 Settle matters of dispute between National Federations, when called upon.

16.3.5 Be of service to the National Federations with information, matters of administration, etc. through its Secretariat.


17.1 The IWF recognises five (5) Continental Federations: the African, Asian, European, Oceanian and Pan-American Federations.

17.2 Only the Federations already affiliated with the IWF may affiliate to Continental or Regional Federations.

17.3 Their Constitution and Rules must be submitted to the IWF Executive Board and conform to all IWF articles and rules where applicable.

17.4 Continental Federations organise and supervise their continental championships in all age groups and both genders in full accordance with the IWF Constitution, By-Laws and Technical Rules.

17.5 The IWF President and the General Secretary may attend the Executive Board meetings and the Congresses of the recognised Continental Federations.

17.6 The Continental Federations are advisers to the IWF on matters concerning their members. They assist the IWF in the supervision of any international event held on the given continent and report to the IWF on these events.

17.7 Continental Federation elections will be ratified by the IWF only if the Electoral Congress?s quorum has reached 50 % plus one of the affiliated members.

17.8 The representatives of the Continental Federations on the IWF Executive Board must submit a written report annually on their activities, including a financial report, to the Executive Board and the Congress.

17.9 Continental Federations cannot issue referee cards.

17.10 Continental Federations may ratify continental records in all age groups and both genders under the same conditions pertaining to world records.

17.11 At all Continental Championships or events organised jointly with the IWF, the IWF Constitution, By-Laws and Rules apply, i.e. advertising, TV rights, etc.

17.12 In Continental Championships, the Continental Federations have the authority to suspend competitors or officials and take disciplinary actions against them. They must report these facts to the IWF, which in turn may extend these disciplinary actions on a worldwide level. Continental Federations cannot suspend National federations but may propose such action to the IWF.

17.13 IWF member Federations have the right to form different groups based on common shared interest.

17.14 At the Continental Championships, Continental Federations must enforce the IWF Anti-Doping Policy. In consultation with the IWF, a doping control must be carried out. The IWF appoints a Doping Controller whose costs, similarly to those of the doping control, are to be paid by the Continental Federation.

17.15 When the Continental Championships are at the same time Olympic Qualification events, the specific conditions set by the IWF for those events shall prevail and overrule the Continental Championships regulations.

17.16 Committee Chairmen of Continental Federations, if they are not elected members of the IWF respective committees, may participate in their IWF respective committee meetings as observers.

17.17 The Continental Federation must invite an IWF delegate to their Electoral Congress. The travel and accommodation costs of this delegate are to be paid by the host Continental Federation.

17.18 The Continental Federations are obliged to communicate to the IWF, no later than the 30th of June of the preceding year, the dates and location of their continental events in order to be included in the IWF Calendar.

18. FEES

18.1 The annual membership fee of the IWF is $ 500 US (five hundred US dollars).

18.2 The membership fee is due in January. Any country not paying its fee for the current year may not participate or vote at the various meetings of the IWF. Their athletes may mot take part in competitions or meetings organised under IWF Rules.  A reminder is sent to every Federation that has not paid its membership fee by February.

18.3 A fee of $ 2,500 US (two thousand five hundred US dollars) must be paid to the IWF to organise each World Championships (seniors, juniors, men or women) i.e.: for a Senior World Championship for men and women, the fee is $ 5,000 US (five thousand US dollars or $ 2,500 X 2)

18.4 Each application to organise World Championships must be accompanied by a deposit of $ 5,000 US (five thousand US dollars) for each championships to be organised (seniors, juniors or women) i.e.: for Senior World Championships for men and women, the deposit is $ 10,000 US (ten thousand US dollars). Within 30 days of the completion of the Championships, half of the amount shall be reimbursed to the host Federation. Within 30 days after the decision of the Executive Board, the full deposit shall be reimbursed to the unsuccessful candidates.


19.1 Any affiliated Federation or members of affiliated Federation who violate the IWF Constitution, By-Laws and / or Rules may be suspended for a period to be decided by the Executive Board.

19.2 Athletes or officials suspended by the IWF or by their National Federation shall be considered suspended by the IWF and by all the affiliated National Federations.

19.3 A Disciplinary Commission under the direction of an Executive Board member has the following duties:

  • Initially deals with all disciplinary matters within the IWF.
  • Imposes penalties and fines in accordance with the relevant IWF Rules and decisions of the Congress and the Executive Board.
  • Gives advice on related matters to the IWF.
  • This Commission may appoint competent persons to assist and give advice in its decisions e.g. lawyers, doctors of medicine, etc.

19.4 The IWF has the right and the power to suspend or expel any National Federation that fails to pay its membership fee.

19.5 When a Federation penalises an athlete or official, the General Secretary must be advised immediately. The General Secretary informs all other countries in case the athlete or official concerned participates in contests with another country without the permission of his or her National Federation.

19.6 When an athlete commits a violation while participating in a contest held in another country, the organising Federation must send a detailed report to the Secretariat. The Executive Board is informed which, in turn decides on the appropriate penalties. An organising Federation may not penalise athletes from other countries, it may only exclude them from the competition.

19.7 In the case of an appeal, the National Federation or the athlete has the right to be heard by the Executive Board before the latter passes its decision.

19.8 All appeals must be submitted in writing. A deposit of $ 500 US (five hundred US dollars) must accompany each appeal. This amount is reimbursed in the event that the National Federation wins the appeal.

 19.9 All disciplinary proceedings in the IWF will be carried out in two phases. In the first instance, the IWF Disciplinary Commission is the decision-maker. The Executive Board, whose decision is final, will consider an appeal against the decision of the Disciplinary Commission, submitted within 60 days.

19.10 An athlete residing in a foreign country may only participate in competitions organised in that country if he or she has an authorisation from his or her National Federation.

19.11 National Federations have to give written permission before any of its members are allowed to compete at any level in any other country.

Such permission is to be lodged by the host nation with the IWF and the respective Continental Federation. Failure to comply with such regulations results in a fine of five thousand US dollars ($ 5,000 US dollars) being imposed by the IWF on the offending National Federation on each occasion.

19.12 No athlete may have affiliation in another country without the authorisation from his or her original Federation. In the absence of such authorisation, the athlete is not allowed to participate in international competitions for his or her new country for twelve (12) months from the date of his or her arriving in the country.

19.13 A condition of participation for a given country is that an athlete must hold the citizenship of that country.

In the case of double citizenship, e.g. holding European Union passport, any athlete may participate in international competitions representing no more than one country within a period of twelve (12) months.

19.14 Any athlete taking part in a competition organised under IWF Rules is suspended or expelled when:

  • he or she is already under a temporary or permanent suspension;
  • is guilty of violation or disobedience towards the National Federation or towards officials in the execution of their duties;
  • he or she participates in a contest with other countries without the permission of his or her National Federation.

19.15 Permanent expulsion is decided by an affiliated Federation or by the IWF Executive Board on a majority vote for serious offences sullying the honour or honesty of the athlete or official.

19.16 If an athlete misconduct himself or herself, the organising Federation may exclude him or her from a competition.  The organising Federation must then inform the athlete's National Federation which in turn may penalise him or her. Any lifter, official or member of a National Federation who by word or gesture threatens any referee or other official during the fulfilment of their duties is also to be penalised.

19.17 Suspended National Federations may not organise any international weightlifting competition or event.

19.18 National Federations or members (athletes and officials) of suspended National Federations may not compete or take part in any international event listed on the IWF calendar or in any other IWF recognised international event. In doubtful situations the General Secretary shall decide whether an event is international or not.

19.19 Officials from suspended National Federations cannot take part in any international competition as jury members, referees, technical controllers, etc.

19.20 Suspended National Federations continue to receive correspondence from the IWF Secretariat and their representative may attend Congresses, clinics, etc.

19.21 The elected IWF Committee members of suspended National Federations may continue to fulfil their duties within their respective Committee.


20.1 Definition

20.1.1 An eligible athlete is one who abides by the eligibility rules of the IWF.

20.1.2 There are no financial considerations in regards to athletes' eligibility.


21.1 The IWF has three types of awards, which are conferred to persons who have rendered distinguished services to the sport of weightlifting, they are:

  • the IWF Order
  • the IWF Award of Merit
  • the IWF National Award

21.2 The IWF Order

21.2.1 The IWF Order has three grades: Gold, Silver and Bronze.

21.2.2 The IWF Gold Order is awarded to the elected, co-opted or appointed members who served on the Executive Board for five (5) consecutive terms (twenty years) and have been elected, co-opted or appointed for a sixth (6th) term.

21.2.3 The IWF Silver Order is awarded to the elected, co-opted or appointed members who served on the Executive Board or IWF Committees for four (4) consecutive terms (sixteen years) and have been elected, co-opted or appointed for a fifth (5th) term.

21.2.4 The IWF Bronze Order is awarded to the elected, co-opted or appointed members who served on the Executive Board or IWF Committees for three (3) consecutive terms (twelve years) and have been elected, co-opted or appointed for a fourth (4th) term.

21.3 The Award of Merit

21.3.1 The Award of Merit is awarded to those who have rendered outstanding services in the development of the sport of weightlifting.

21.3.2 Proposals to confer this Award may be submitted by the National, Continental federations or the Executive Board members.

21.4 The IWF National Award

21.4.1 The IWF National Award has three grades: Gold, Silver and Bronze.

21.4.2 It is awarded to members of National Federations under the following conditions:

  1. The Gold Award, for twenty-five (25) years of continuous membership and work
  2. The Silver Award, for fifteen (15) years of continuous membership and work
  3. The Bronze Award, for ten (10) years of continuous membership and work.

Copyright 2001 International Weightlifting Federation