Why has the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) followed one bad decision with another in recent months, drawing repeated criticism from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) along the way?
Is it weak leadership?
Is it incompetence, negligence or worse?
Or is it maybe the fact that the IWF has been overwhelmed by the sheer weight of work to be done to repair damaged goods?
Perhaps it is a little bit of all of those, but the main motivating factor for a series of "questionable" decisions by the IWF Executive Board is the strongest one of all: fear.
So many Board members - it could be as many as seven - are making terrible decisions because they are in fear of losing their place in the sport.
Their critics are quite right to say these people are putting their own interests ahead of weightlifting’s.
It is clearly absurd that the IWF is planning to hold elections a month before it adopts (or, suicidally, rejects) a new Constitution that has been drawn up by independent experts.
Everybody from the top to the bottom of the Olympic Movement can see this, as can anybody involved in weightlifting, including the Executive Board.
But to them, anything is preferable to banishment, even if for some it need only be until 2024, three-and-a-half years away.
The board is set against putting the Constitution first because if that happened six or seven of them would be gone - ineligible to stand in the elections or retain their seat on the Board.
It will be seven if current doping cases are closed and the Tokyo 2020 qualifying rules are applied as written.
That number of vulnerable Board members is not a rumour or supposition, it is a verifiable fact to anybody who has seen the final draft of the proposed new Constitution.
That document has been sent to insidethegames by an interested party who is not one of those seven, just so we can keep a watch on what happens next.
Because you can bank one thing: if this Board carries on behaving as it has done for the past few months it will not approve the proposed new Constitution until it has first had a good go at emasculating it.
Its new rules for excluding election candidates and Board members can be as mundane as age, or as exciting as having a criminal record.
Others include coming from a nation that is suspended, even provisionally, because of doping violations or other reasons; failing to meet the requirements of being a fit and proper person; being suspended from sport in your own country; having been disqualified as a company director; being bankrupt; having been disqualified for a doping offence; having been found guilty of unethical conduct; and being mentally incapable.
If the Constitution is not adopted by the IWF it might be not just the Board, but the entire sport that pays the price in the form of banishment from the Olympic Games.
Here are some of those "questionable" decisions the board has made in four inglorious months.
First, having appointed her to remove Tamás Aján from office after a huge corruption scandal because none of them fancied the task themselves (fear again?), they ousted the reformist interim president Ursula Papandrea, who had the IOC’s support.
They may or may not have had justifiable grounds for criticising the American’s management style but with that lot plotting against her every move, Papandrea was always in a difficult position.
She felt bullied and correctly predicted her own downfall soon after the Board rejected new anti-doping rules proposed by the International Testing Agency (ITA) on September 13, which she backed.
The ITA is responsible for all the IWF’s anti-doping procedures but its independent expert advice was rejected in favour of a version written by a man whose own status on the Board has been called into question, which weakened the rules against multiple offenders.
The Board could have consulted its new Anti-Doping Commission, led by the highly respected Norwegian Rune Andersen, but its existence seems to have slipped their minds.
After his appointment (under Papandrea) they did not even contact him for more than three months and the Commission has still never had a meeting.
Next, the Board put in charge Intarat Yodbangtoey, who oversaw the Thai Amateur Weightlifting Association when Thailand was involved in two doping scandals involving teenagers, and who had a few mentions in the McLaren Report into weightlifting corruption, which was published in June.
Such was the uproar, led by the IOC, Intarat lasted a day and Britain’s Mike Irani became the sport’s fourth leader inside seven months.
Since then we have had the anti-doping rule changes, published without any announcement and against ITA advice.
A member of the Athletes Commission was removed because, in 2011, he was banned for six months after testing positive for a stimulant at a college competition.
A fine, upstanding zero-tolerance policy, you might say, until you consider that one of the IWF Board members who ditched him was suspended for two years in the 1990s not for testing positive for a stimulant, but for steroids.
There was endless prevarication about the status of Romania which became liable, in November, for suspension because its entire team of four was caught doping in the IOC’s retesting of samples from London 2012.
Finally, this week, the IWF announced that Romania, whose federation president Nicu Vlad is a Board member, might be suspended.
Then there is the Board’s reluctance to give athletes a meaningful voice, which is more a demand than a request from the IOC.
It would have been possible before now, via a new by-law, to give at least one vote on the Board to athletes.
They have none, though they can attend Board meetings.
Apparently there was a spectacular showdown at yesterday’s Board meeting when Sarah Davies, the Athletes' Commission chair, made her feelings known in a forthright manner.
A senior director from the IOC did likewise.
Perhaps the craziest decision, which once more involved ignoring expert independent advice, was timing the Electoral Congress before the Constitutional Congress, for the reasons explained above.
When you are liable for the chop, that’s what happens.
Another belter is the IWF’s refusal to publish the list of electoral candidates, which it could have done 12 days ago.
This delay has been caused by the IWF trying to do the right thing and carry out eligibility checks, said Irani.
If eligibility checks matter, what was wrong with adopting the new Constitution before the elections so it could be done properly?
Certain members of the Board are candidates and and some, but not all of them, have the list, and therefore a clear advantage over their rivals.
So, what happens next?
To appease the IOC the Board should look again at those anti-doping rule changes and go back to the tougher ITA version.
They could even ask Andersen for his advice.
Athletes must be given a seat on the Board, by whatever means, and soon.
Eligibility checks must be carried out in a meaningful way, by credible independent experts.
The candidates list should be published forthwith and if some names disappear after eligibility checks, so be it: that’s what transparency looks like.
It would be much better if those candidates who know they would not be eligible under the new Constitution withdrew their candidacy and, if appropriate, tried again at the next elections.
Don’t hold your breath.