Former IWF director general Attila Adamfi has hit back at the McLaren Report ©Twitter

Former International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) director general Attila Adamfi has accused Richard McLaren of trying to produce false evidence and forging documents to support allegations of corruption at the governing body.

In a letter to IWF Interim President Mike Irani and the Executive Board, Adamfi, who officially left his position at the organisation by "mutual consent" at the end of September, claims the Canadian lawyer had suggested he had been involved in alleged vote-buying without providing any evidence.

Adamfi said that, while McLaren had not directly accused him of wrongdoing, there were enough "serious insinuations" in the report by his team to imply his guilt.

The letter, sent to the Executive Board in an attempt to clear his name from any links to vote-buying in IWF elections, is the first time Adamfi has formally rebutted the contents of the report where he is either directly or indirectly mentioned.

Adamfi said he was unable to comment on the financial and anti-doping allegations made in the report as he was not operationally involved in these two areas.

The Hungarian official is named 18 times in the report, which led to the downfall of IWF President Tamás Aján, who was castigated by McLaren for overseeing decades of corruption featuring financial malpractice, anti-doping cover-ups and vote-rigging.

"First of all, I declare that - contrary to the suggestion of the report - I was never involved in corruption, never paid a bribe for any vote, or had evidence of such illegal act," Adamfi said in the letter, seen by insidethegames.

"Therefore, I call upon anybody stating the opposite to come forward with any solid evidence immediately as the report does not present any evidence against me.

"Furthermore, it is important to state that the Report does not include any specific accusations against me, but only tries to misrepresent me."

Richard McLaren has been accused of trying to falsify documents and evidence to support allegations of corruption in weightlifting ©Getty Images
Richard McLaren has been accused of trying to falsify documents and evidence to support allegations of corruption in weightlifting ©Getty Images

Adamfi, Aján’s son-in-law - an issue which he claims is his "only sin" and "has never been a problem in 19-and-a-half years" - alleged McLaren had doctored an email included in the report to show evidence of vote-buying in elections.

McLaren wrote that correspondence between Adamfi, and an assistant of a Continental Federation President "further supported the investigations team’s evidence of cash for votes at the most senior levels within the IWF".

"In the exchange, Mr. Adamfi questioned the Continental President’s motives for continuing to support Dr. Aján’s opponent, Dr. Antonio Urso, given that he had lost to Dr. Aján in 2013 and again in 2017," McLaren wrote.

"The assistant to the Continental Federation’s President replied that in addition to issues surrounding financial support for the Continental Federation, the Continental Federation President had been offered a bribe in return for supporting Dr. Aján, and that this was against his principles."

Adamfi disputes the above text in the report, claiming the assistant of the Continental Federation instead said: "in [sic] the other hand some people decided to offer him some bribe (I know because I translate to him) and this is against his way of thinking".

"The report forges the email adding text that is not included in the email in order to present the situation according to their created political scenario," Adamfi wrote.

"Nowhere in the original text is Dr. Aján mentioned, especially not in a fake context that bribe was offered for supporting him.

"The above clearly demonstrates that the Investigator is not presenting the truth by forging the email and trying to produce evidence.

"This forgery demonstrates how 'objective' and 'credible' the report is."

Weightlifting remains in crisis and its place on the Olympic Games programme has seemingly been put in jeopardy ©Getty Images
Weightlifting remains in crisis and its place on the Olympic Games programme has seemingly been put in jeopardy ©Getty Images

Adamfi goes on by stating the "necessary legal steps have been made towards Mr McLaren to correct the report [so it] corresponds to the truth".

The former director general also disputes other elements of the report - which he claims cost the IWF €1 million (£903,000/$1.2 million) – including suggestions taking a picture of the ballot in an election constitutes corruption and that references to a "bribed voting bloc" were made "without any detailed evidence…and is simply sensationalist rhetoric".

He cites several factual errors in parts of the document to highlight what he claims is a "poor quality" report, commissioned in the wake of a documentary broadcast by the German television station ARD.

Adamfi had worked with the IWF for 25 years before he left the governing body.

His biggest success was ensuring weightlifting’s future in the Olympic Games, which was confirmed last year after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) had put its place on the Games schedule under review.

The sport’s spot at the Paris 2024 Games seems far from certain as the IWF remains embroiled in crisis following the removal of Interim President Ursula Papandrea last month.

The IOC had expressed concern over the lack of progress made by the IWF in reforming its governance before Papandrea was removed and has twice repeated those concerns since.

insidethegames has contacted McLaren's representative for comment.