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Finland, Sweden will not participate in IBA events with Russia and Balarus

The world continues to stand up to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as Finland and Sweden have announced that they will not participate in any events where Russian or Belarusian fighters are competing. The International Boxing Agency, who is responsible for the qualifications of amateur boxing, recently overturned the suspension of Russia and Belarus. The IBA has not issued a statement.

The President of the IBA, Umar Kremlev, is a Russian and the conflict of interest is at very high levels. With the IBA under such scrutiny for governance issues, mainly corruption with judging.

IBA and Corruption: Nothing New

This past week has been a roller coaster of news for the IBA. None of it is good. After the organization decided not to elect a new president in September, doubt has been cast on the 2028 Olympic Games for boxing.

Kremlev has ties to Vladimir Putin and at the end of September, the IBA tried to ban Ukraine from IBA boxing events. It was incredibly out of left field but not truly if you realized the Russian ties with the current president of the IBA being backed by Russia and pro-Russian war companies.

The junior Olympic boxing team refused the ban and wore the Ukraine flag anyway and the IBA backed down from their ban on Ukraine. But in a back handed compliment on removing Ukraine’s ban, the IBA also removed the bans of Russian athletes and Belarusian athletes as well.

Now with Finland and Sweden announcing their boycotts of IBA events, fans can expect other countries from around the world to take a similar stance, especially in that region. With such actions that are a clear violation of Russian tampering and corruption, it’s likely now a probability that boxing will not be at the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, California. And maybe that’s a good thing.


In addition to covering Olympic boxing for My MMA News, Blaine Henry, the author, also analyzes fights from all combat sports across the globe. 

Blaine Henry can be found on Twitter, YouTube and Substack.

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