FILE - President of the International Weightlifting Federation Tamas Ajan speaks during the opening ceremony of the 2006 World Weightlifting Championships in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Friday, Sept. 29, 2006. The former IOC member who ran weightlifting’s governing body for more than 40 years has banned for life for corrupting the sport’s anti-doping program. The Court of Arbitration for Sport found Tamss Ajan guilty of tampering and hiding doping cases. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa, File)

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Three Russian officials won a court ruling Thursday to overturn being barred from this weekend's International Weightlifting Federation elections.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld appeals by Maxim Agapitov, who is an IWF board member, Dmitry Chernogorov and Aleksandr Kishkin. All three were excluded last month from the elections by a panel vetting potential candidates.

The IWF-appointed panel did not have authority to make what were effectively disciplinary decisions against the Russians, CAS said in a statement.

Although Russian teams and athletes have been banned from many international competitions because of the country's part in the war in Ukraine, the International Olympic Committee and most Olympic sports have not suspended their members from Russia.

The CAS verdict should clear the three men to stand for various IWF positions, including president, at the two-day election meeting in the Albanian capital of Tirana.

The elections are the IWF’s first since an investigation broadcast in January 2020 by German channel ARD accused the body of widespread corruption.

Long-time IWF president Tamás Aján, a former IOC member, was ousted weeks later after being implicated in financial misconduct and tampering with the sport’s anti-doping program.

Aján was banned from sports for life last week by a separate CAS panel.

The elections this weekend are key for the IWF to rebuild trust at the IOC. Weightlifting has been left off the sports program for the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics, with the IOC due to make a final decision next year.


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