The IWF has moved its headquarters from Budapest to Lausanne as it seeks to put the past behind it ©YouTube

The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) is severing a significant link with its troubled past by shutting down its former headquarters in Budapest and relocating all operations to Lausanne. Switzerland.

The IWF has had offices in the Hungarian capital since the early 1980s, throughout the decades when weightlifting was led by Tamás Aján.

The Hungarian was general secretary and later President of the IWF for 44 years from 1976, before he resigned in April 2020 after allegations of doping-related corruption.

In June this year Aján was banned from the sport for life by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which found that he had been involved in "covering up, delaying and obstructing results management for certain athletes that committed anti-doping rule violations."

A phased move to Lausanne, the "Olympic Capital", was planned within a week of Aján's departure two and a half years ago but a period of instability followed, and the IWF retained operational bases in both Switzerland and Hungary.

The Budapest closure, effective by the end of December, was signed off by Mohamed Jalood, the IWF President, after a meeting on Friday (November 25).

Some staff in Hungary are expected to leave the governing body, while others will move to Lausanne or work remotely.

The IWF had headquarters in Budapest since the early 1980s, throughout the decades when the sport was led by Tamás Aján ©IWF
The IWF had headquarters in Budapest since the early 1980s, throughout the decades when the sport was led by Tamás Aján ©IWF

Jalood told insidethegames:  "I suggested that we should close the Budapest offices at a meeting on November 25, and the Executive Board agreed.

"It’s good for weightlifting and it shows the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that as far as we are concerned, the past is finished."

The IOC, which removed weightlifting from the Olympic Games programme for Los Angeles 2028, will not reconsider its decision unless the IWF improves its governance and shows signs of "a culture change" in the way it operates.

It is headquartered in Lausanne, and Jalood said: "The IWF must be more active there, must be closer to the IOC.

"Moving out of Budapest sends a good message that the past is the past, and we are looking to the future."

The move from Hungary to Switzerland had first been instigated by the American Ursula Papandrea when she was Interim President of the IWF.

Papandrea, who is now first vice-president of the IWF, was effectively removed from office by her own Executive Board in October 2020 after attempting to push through reforms, and the IWF had no permanent leader until Jalood was elected five months ago.