Association of National Olympic Committees President Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah was a guest speaker at the IWF Congress ©Reiko Kato Chinen/Twitter

Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) President Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah has described the plan of the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) to ensure it keeps its place on the Olympic programme as "excellent" and has predicted a bright future for the sport.

Sheikh Ahmad was speaking as a guest here at the IWF Congress, which follows a two-day Executive Board meeting.

Last December, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) outlined four requirements the IWF need to meet to stay on the programme post-Tokyo 2020.

These are the full implementation of the recommendations from the Independent Clean Sport Commission and the Sport Programme Commission, the completion of the World Anti-Doping Agency code compliance monitoring programme and the submission of a questionnaire report on corrective actions.

The IWF delivered a report to the IOC in June detailing how it had met the criteria and now has to wait until the IOC Executive Board convenes for its meeting in Tokyo from November 30 to December 2 for a further update on its situation.

Earlier this week, IWF President Tamás Aján told insidethegames that he is confident the sport has done enough to combat doping to ensure its threatened place at the Olympic Games.

And when addressing delegates here at the IWF Congress, Sheikh Ahmad was full of praise for the work that has been done by the world governing body.

"In the last couple of years, your Federation has faced a lot of problems about the clean athletes," the Kuwaiti said.

"And it was because of that that [IOC] President Thomas Bach asked for a lot of reforms for the Federation to solve the problem and to face the future for a major sport on the Olympic programme for more than 100 years.

"But it was very clever when President Tamás and his colleagues in the EB worked together, using the expertise of a lot of colleagues and the IOC, to prepare two Commissions to put the procedures and the ideas in place, and prepare the report for the IOC EB to show the development and the progress which will happen in this Federation for it to be accepted in the future and for it to be one of our major sports.

"President Thomas Bach was very happy with the report and the progress, but looking of course for more.

"And I think today with your agenda items, after the EB meeting, you are taking one of the major steps which will be acceptable for the IOC and for the continuation of your sport on the Olympic programme."

The 2018 IWF World Championships are due to begin in Ashgabat tomorrow ©Ashgabat 2018
The 2018 IWF World Championships are due to begin in Ashgabat tomorrow ©Ashgabat 2018

Sheikh Ahmad went onto state that the IWF has the backing of both the IOC and ANOC.

"You have a lot of friends in the International Olympic Committee and you are main members at the General Assembly of our NOCs," he added.

"For that, you will always have the support.

"We are looking to see more development in governance and this has been started by the EB and the President.

"This will be the next step.

"For that, the roadmap which has been set out by the EB, I believe, with my experience, is an excellent plan and it's the safe way for a bright future."

Reports were presented at the IWF Executive Board meeting by the Anti-Doping Commission and the Clean Sport Commission, while members also approved a roadmap for cooperation with the newly-formed International Testing Agency.

All acknowledged the "remarkable progress" made by the IWF in making the world governing body a "leader in anti-doping".

Nine countries banned by the IWF for having multiple positives in the re-testing of doping samples from the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympics - namely Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Moldova and Turkey - have now served a year's suspension and returned to competition as the 2018 IWF World Championships loom here.

The Championships are scheduled to begin tomorrow and run until November 10.

The Ashgabat Olympic Complex’s Martial Arts Arena will play host to the event.

A total of 604 athletes from 88 countries are due to compete.