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AIBA rebrands to IBA amidst Olympic boxing corruption probe

IOC sends stern warning to IBA for boxing reform for 2028

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is still on the fence about including boxing for the 2028 Olympic Games. Since the Richard McLaren paper, the IOC has been considering taking boxing out of the Olympic Games due to issues of corruption with the International Boxing Association (IBA).

The letter below was sent to the National Olympic Committee and the National Federations:

The IOC has been monitoring the activities of the International Boxing Association (IBA) for several years now and is periodically considering whether the suspension of its recognition by the IOC could be lifted. The issue is not about the sport of boxing or boxers, but IBA and its practices and activities. While some indications concerning the reorganisation of the administration of boxing were received, there are multiple signals that the drastic change of culture requested by the IOC in order to lift the suspension of IBA’s recognition has not been implemented.  As a result, the IOC is not in a position today to reverse its stance with regard to the suspension of IBA’s recognition. 

During the years of monitoring, the IOC has been acting in the best interests of the boxing community (including athletes, coaches, judges, referees). This is why the Olympic boxing tournament could take place at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 while the recognition of IBA was suspended.

As boxing is planned to feature in the programme of the Olympic Games Paris 2024, simultaneously with this letter the IOC will share the qualification criteria for these Olympic Games with the boxing community. The qualification criteria for the Olympic Games Paris 2024 build on the criteria that were developed for and successfully applied to the satisfaction of the participants in the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

Boxing is currently not included in the initial sports programme of the Olympic Games Los Angeles 2028. If a decision had to be taken today regarding the Olympic Games Los Angeles 2028, the IOC EB would not be able to recommend the IOC Session to include boxing in the sports programme under the authority of the IBA as IBA has not demonstrated that it has successfully addressed the ongoing concerns around its governance, its financial transparency and sustainability and the integrity of its refereeing and judging processes.

The IOC will continue to monitor the evolution of IBA’s practices and activities as well as of the boxing community at large, and, on the basis of the developments, will consider taking a decision regarding IBA’s recognition at the appropriate time. 

IOC, IBA, and Olympic Boxing

The IBA, formerly known as the AIBA, has had major issues of corruption for some time. Back in the 1988, Roy Jones Jr. was robbed of Olympic gold in the finals. Floyd Mayweather Jr. was also seen to be robbed in his fight and most famously, Michael Conlan who gave the judges the middle finger after giving him the raw end of the deal on a decision.

Recently the IBA has made steps to “prove changing” without actually doing anything. They have adopted AI scoring in some of their fights and have tapped the aforementioned Roy Jones Jr. to be their spokesperson about their mission against corruption.

In the meantime, IBA has re-elected it’s president, Umar Kremlev, who has attempted to use his position for his own agenda. A few short months ago, Kremlev tried to ban Ukrainian athletes from competing in IBA sanctioned events. Kremlev is Russian and has an obvious conflict of interest there. The IBA’s issues have continued to propagate and will cause the sport of boxing to be excluded from the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles if major action is not taken.

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In addition to covering 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, on his Substack, an YouTube.

 

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