The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has finally run out of patience with the International Boxing Association (IBA) after 69 members voted in favour of expelling the body of amateur boxing from the Olympic Movement on June 22 at an extraordinary IOC Session in Lausanne. There was one vote against and ten abstentions. However, boxing would remain on the sports programme of the 2024 and 2028 Olympics.
NO PROBLEM WITH BOXING
“We do not have a problem with boxing, we do not have a problem with boxers,” IOC President Thomas Bach said. “On the contrary, we appreciate the boxers for living the values of their sport. If we had a problem with boxers there would not have been a competition in Tokyo. There would be no boxing competition in Paris.”
SUSPENSION IN 2019
Back in 2019, the IOC Session had suspended the IOC’s recognition of the IBA, then called AIBA, due to severe concerns over judging and refereeing, financial stability and governance amid countless allegations of corruption under its former president CK Wu.
According to the IOC, “such decision noted that, although there were sufficient grounds to withdraw AIBA’s recognition, for the protection of boxing athletes and the maintenance of boxing as a sport at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, the IOC Session was willing to provide AIBA with an exceptional opportunity to restore its full compliance with OC Rule 25 and the IOC Code of Ethics.”
LACK OF DRASTIC EVOLUTION
However, the IBA, led by Russian Umar Kremlev since 2020, has failed to address the concerns raised, the IOC said. In a 24-page report dated June 2 the Olympic body had established that the IBA had failed to fulfil the conditions it set for the IBA to regain its Olympic status. The report concluded: “The accumulation of all of these points, and the constant lack of drastic evolution throughout the many years, creates a situation of no-return.”
IOC EB RECOMMENDATION
The IOC Executive Board approved the report, recommended to the IOC Session to withdraw recognition of the International Boxing Association (IBA), and convened an Extraordinary IOC Session to discuss the matter and take a decision. “The IBA had already appealed to CAS concerning the recommendation of the IOC EB. The IOC successfully opposed this request. As there is now a new opportunity to appeal, the IOC is not in a position to comment further on the situation,” the IOC stated.
Today’s seismic move brings the stand-off between the IOC and the IBA to an end. On June 20, the IOC released a statement condemning the “violent and threatening language used by the President of the International Boxing Association (IBA), Umar Kremlev, against a number of individuals from the IOC.”
“WE VALUE BOXING”
The IOC President Thomas Bach said: “We highly value the sport of boxing but unfortunately we have an extremelyserious problem with the IBA because of their governance. We believe the boxers deserve to be governed by an international federation with integrity and transparency.”
The IOC Director General Christophe De Kepper added: “The IOC has constantly and patiently tried to help in the three areas of concern. There has been a constant lack of drastic revolution throughout the many years. It is a situation of no return. The only conclusion is to withdraw recognition.”
Credit: AIPS Media