The IBA has issued a statement today saying it is “deeply concerned about controversial judging” at the Games as boxers battle it out for places at next year’s Olympics.

The multi-sport event in Hangzhou is serving as a qualifier for Paris 2024 with a total of 34 quota spots up for grabs but the IBA claim competition is being “overshadowed by the mistakes of some R&Js (referees and judges)”.

An International Olympic Committee (IOC) Taskforce is running the competition following the expulsion of the IBA from the Olympic Movement – which the global governing body has brandished as a “tremendous error”.

Kremlev claimed that the “price of IBA’s absence is extremely high and noted”, saying his organisation’s exclusion “impacts significantly on the dreams of many boxers”.

“I received a lot of complaints from the athletes and team delegations participating at the Asian Games boxing tournament,” said Kremlev.

“They all are concerned about multiple R&J’s mistakes.

“That being said, IBA is not involved in this tournament due to the IOC Session and its controversial decision.”

IBA President Umar Kremlev claimed that the
IBA President Umar Kremlev claimed that the “price of IBA’s absence is extremely high and noted” ©IBA

Kremlev argued that there was “no rigorous vetting process conducted at the same level as the IBA” which he claimed had re8sulted in “a number of high-risk official” being selected and used in Olympic qualification events.

The Russian official also claimed that the absence of the IBA’s bout review rule which automatically looks at split decisions had meant that “judges mistakes were unpunished or unresolved” at Hangzhou 2022.

“We are concerned because of our athletes that are at the very heart of the IBA,” said Kremlev.

“Every single bout matters throughout every stage of development and indeed competition.

“The price of IBA’s absence is extremely high and noted, this impacts significantly on the dreams of many boxers.

“We must do everything we can in ensuring the highest levels of integrity are met.

“Having received a number of complaints from various National Federations in terms of results, not only for the level of officiating in China, but from the commencement of the European qualifying events in Poland.

“The latter was followed by the African qualification tournament in Dakar that was marked with certain complaints and involved high-risk officials also.

“IBA remains stood on the side line only to direct those National Federations concerns back to the IOC for their clarifications and relevant actions.”

Kremlev insisted that the IBA was ready to “offer any help to the IOC to avoid such situations for the sake of our boxers”.

A total of 34 Olympic quota spots have been made available at the Asian Games ©Getty Images
A total of 34 Olympic quota spots have been made available at the Asian Games ©Getty Images

“The IBA is home of boxing and will always protect the interests of its boxers and the boxing family at all levels, regardless of which entity is in charge of tournaments’ organisation,” said Kremlev.

The IBA stressed in its statement that it had “set an example of high-level refereeing and judging” at its flagship events.

“The lowest number of the Olympic boxing tournament participants in years made high demand for Paris 2024 quotas,” the statement from the IBA added.

“In such circumstances, the true champion may never be revealed.

“IBA strives in ensuring that every performance from each boxer matters based on their merits within the ring, excluding influence of the competition officials regarding the end-state results.”

Paris 2024 will be the second time an IOC Taskforce has run the boxing tournament at the Olympics after the IBA was suspended in 2019 due to concerns surrounding governances, finances, refereeing and ethics.

The IBA has put in place vetting processes for referees and judges to ensure there is no repeat of the judging scandal that marred the Rio 2016.

All 36 referees and judges at Rio 2016 were banned from officiating at Tokyo 2020 following suspicious results.

Credit: insidethegames