Tamás Aján has resigned as President of the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF), where he has held high office since 1976.
Ursula Papandrea, the American Acting President, now leads the sport’s governing body.
Aján, who was the IWF general secretary for 24 years, became President in 2000.
The 81-year-old Hungarian was accused of corruption in a German television documentary that was broadcast in early January.
He repeatedly denied the allegations, which concerned alleged financial malpractice 10 years ago, and corruption in anti-doping procedures.
An IWF statement said: "The IWF Executive Board notes that an independent investigation by Professor Richard McLaren is currently ongoing, examining allegations made by ARD (the German TV station) and related issues.”
Papandrea said: "The IWF thanks Tamás Aján for more than four decades of service to weightlifting, and most notably for his work in recent years to ensure an anti-doping programme which meets the standards of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) is in place.
“We can now begin the work of determining a fresh path towards achieving the full potential of our sport.”
Aján's behaviour in attempting to hold on to power had irked many members of the Executive Board, who met for many hours by teleconference today and were still in discussions going into the evening.
It is believed that a clear majority of the Board were in favour of expelling Aján, who avoided that fate by resigning.
The 81-year-old Hungarian stood aside as President, originally for 90 days, in late January when the independent investigation began into claims made by ARD's journalists – the same team that exposed state-sponsored doping in Russia.
That investigation is being led by the man who played such a significant role in the Russian doping scandal, the Canadian professor of law Richard McLaren.
The Board later extended the interim role of Papandrea from mid-April to mid-June, and Aján's apparent refusal to accept being sidelined led to a prolonged discussion over his future by the Board.
He was accused by Papandrea, in a private email that was leaked to ARD last weekend, of making “insults and implicit threats” against her, including one occasion when he threatened to have her arrested in the IWF offices for bringing in members of McLaren’s investigative team.
Papandrea also accused Aján of taking part in conference calls with the IOC when he should not have done, obstructing access to IWF bank accounts, overseeing a bank transfer without Papandrea’s knowledge, conducting “business as usual” with the IWF Secretariat in Budapest when Papandrea should have been in command, and interfering in the timing and venue of Board meetings.
“You, President Aján, have not stepped into the background of operations,” Papandrea wrote.
“I believe you are no longer suited to either represent or lead this organisation.”
Papandrea was “incredibly upset” that the private email, addressed to Aján and 19 other Board members, had been leaked.
“I hope the damage to our sport is reparable as my ultimate goal is to restore the reputation,” she told insidethegames.
That reputation has taken many knocks over the years, reaching a low point in June 2017 when Thomas Bach, the IOC President, said weightlifting must address its “massive doping problem” or face expulsion from the Olympic Games.
Aján had been at the IWF during previous Olympic doping scandals, most notably in 1988 and 2000, but this one was more serious because it involved such high numbers of cheats.
The IOC stored samples from the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games and retested them: at the time of Bach’s comments 49 weightlifters had come up positive, more than half of all the doping violations across all sports.
That number has since risen to 61, many of them medallists who have been disqualified, but in the period between Bach’s “strong signal” to weightlifting and the broadcast of the ARD documentary the sport had made huge advances.
Attila Adamfi, Aján's son-in-law who is director general of the IWF - and whose position led to claims of nepotism in the Lord of the Lifters documentary - played the lead role in devising a new Olympic qualifying system that compelled athletes to undergo far more testing.
It was praised by the IOC and led to the removal, a year ago, of any threat to weightlifting’s Olympic status.
Nine nations were suspended for a year for having three or more positives in those IOC retests, a new anti-doping policy came down harder on cheats, new commissions and panels were created to deliberate on cleaning up the sport, introducing new body weights categories, and punishing serial dopers, the IWF partnered up with the International Testing Agency (ITA) and Thailand, Egypt and Malaysia were banned from Tokyo 2020 for repeated transgressions.
It angered Aján and his IWF colleagues that the ARD programme made no mention of such reforms, and that many of the allegations in the documentary related to incidents from years ago.
But those alleged historical transgressions, which Aján has continued to deny, have come back to haunt him.
In the 14 weeks since the broadcast of the ARD programme, the weightlifting headlines on insidethegames have included "Aján moves aside as IWF President for 90 days", "Aján resigns as honorary IOC member", "Aján's 44-year reign at IWF under threat as Executive Board members demand change", "Exclusive: Angry Board members may move to formally suspend Aján as IWF President", "Aján not allowed to resume IWF leadership in April after Board extends his absence" and "Aján faces expulsion from IWF as Board members are asked to vote on his future."
Given the weight of opposition to him within his own Executive Board, his resignation was not a surprise to its members.
In the IWF statement Aján said, “I offered the best of my life to our beloved sport.
“When health circumstances related to the pandemic allow, holding elections would enable a new generation to start work as soon as possible on ensuring a bright future for the sport we love.”
The prolonged Executive Board meeting continued, after accepting Aján's resignation.
The Olympic Qualifying system and IWF governance matters were up for discussion.
“In these difficult and uncertain times, the IWF is determined to provide clarity over qualifying for the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics to weightlifters everywhere,” said Papandrea.
“Our athletes are our first priority and they are currently facing significant challenges and disruption.
“We therefore want to ease the burden on them and ensure that we are providing them with further details about how we will deliver a safe and fair qualification process.”