Fourteen members of the troubled International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) Executive Board are on the list of candidates for next month’s elections.
Seven of them are running for President, alongside four nominations who are not on the Board - former IWF Interim President Ursula Papandrea from the United States, Jinqiang Zhou of China, Stian Grimseth of Norway, and Ali Moradi of Iran.
The only IWF Board members not standing for the elections, scheduled for March 26 to 27, are guaranteed a seat anyway, as Presidents of Continental Federations.
The Board's candidates include two representatives from countries that are banned from Tokyo 2020 because of multiple doping violations, another whose nation is likely to join them, a fourth who might, the current Interim President who does not have the support of his own National Federation, and an 85-year-old.
They are respectively Mahmoud Mahgoub of Egypt, Intarat Yodbangtoey of Thailand, Nicu Vlad of Romania, Mohammed Jalood of Iraq, Mike Irani of Britain and Sam Coffa of Australia.
Those standing for President from the current Board are Mohamed Yousef Al-Mana of Qatar, Karoliina Lundahl of Finland, Pyrros Dimas of Greece, Zhanat Tussupbekov of Kazakhstan, Jalood, Vlad and Irani.
Last week Kit McConnell, sports director at the International Olympic Committee (IOC), attended an IWF Board meeting at which he is said to have voiced concerns about too many Board members appearing on the list, which was kept secret for two weeks after the nominations deadline.
McConnell was not impressed to see so many members of the Board - which has repeatedly been criticised by the IOC in recent months for its governance failings - standing for re-election or, in some cases, higher office.
His blunt warning to the Board was effectively: "Fix your governance or else."
The Board has responded by voting through new interim rules for the elections, under which all candidates must undergo eligibility checks.
The published list of candidates is provisional, dependent on the checks which are due to be carried out by February 22.
Iran’s Presidential candidate Moradi said: "The most important thing is to maintain and keep our sport in the Olympic programme.
"I have always emphasised the importance of a strong fight against doping and respect for the IOC guidelines and instructions.
"We need considerable changes and reforms inside our system and we all should support each other."
The 11 Presidential candidates include a few who are expected to drop out to focus on other roles.
At the last elections in 2017 it was a straight battle between the incumbent, Tamás Aján, and the anti-corruption reformer Antonio Urso, from Italy.
Urso lost, but Aján was forced to resign last April after a corruption scandal.
In October Urso, who is also standing down as President of the European Weightlifting Federation (EWF), resigned from the IWF Board in exasperation at a series of governance failings and said: "There is no credible leader there now."
This time it is unlikely to be a two-way contest.
The flag-bearer for the controlling faction on the Board - though not all its members - is expected to be Al-Mana, a senior Government figure from Qatar who is president of the Asian Weightlifting Federation (AWF).
Al-Mana, 67, worked in Qatar’s police force for 13 years before joining the Ministry of Transport and Security, which he headed in the 1990s.
He later worked in state security, home affairs, army recruitment and other Governmental roles.
In sport, he has been President of the Qatar Weightlifting Federation for 22 years, was AWF president in 2002-03 as well as now, and is also President of the Arab and Afro-Asian federations and a member of the Arab Olympic Committee.
He is sure to be well supported.
Al-Mana has been contacted by insidethegames for comment on his campaigning points, as has Coffa, who is standing for the Board, vice-president and first vice-president, the IWF’s second most senior elected position.
Coffa, president of the Australian Weightlifting Federation, clearly feels he still has much to offer the sport he has served for decades at the age of 85.
He lost his seat on the Board at the 2017 elections, when he supported Urso, and was appointed an "honorary advisor" to the Board last May after Aján’s resignation, when he said he hoped to help carry out "a complete review of the IWF’s structure".
Coffa later became a Board member and a political opponent of Papandrea, whose reform programme had the support of the IOC before she was ousted as Interim President in October.
Intarat’s candicacy shows that he still has strong support among the IWF’s Member Federations.
He was in charge of weightlifting in Thailand when it had a teenaged doping scandal in 2011, and was involved when nine of Thailand’s 2018 IWF World Championships team tested positive.
Intarat was also mentioned unfavourably in the McLaren Report into weightlifting corruption, but that has not deterred his backers.
He used a rule that allows individuals to stand without any National Federation's backing, provided they have served 12 years on the Board and can provide evidence of support from one-fifth of the IWF's 192 members.
He sought that support and clearly he got it as his name is on the "provisional" list.
So is Irani’s, which is more of a mystery.
He is not eligible without the support of British Weight Lifting, which he does not have, and unlike Intarat he has not served 12 years on the Board.
Irani did not respond to calls from insidethegames to explain how he might be eligible to stand.
One nation which has arguably shown the others an example to follow is Colombia, whose prospective candidates were not nominated.
Colombia is under threat of being banned from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games because it had three athletes test positive for boldenone last year.
It decided for ethical reasons not to submit the names of a number of candidates it had lined up for various IWF roles.
"It is time to put down the personal interests and strengthen the general interests," said William Peña, President of the Colombian Weightlifting federation.
"We consider it of great importance to take into account the ethical consequences about our acts, and the potential benefits or damage to our sport."
Peña said Colombia supported its athletes in their appeals, which are based on unknowingly ingesting a prohibited substance through meat, but it did not want to risk damaging the image of weightlifting by contesting the elections.
"We do not have any legal impediment to aspire to be in IWF positions, but we do not consider it proper to our sport make any application," he said.
The full list of election candidates is available here.