The International Boxing Association (IBA) continues their path of Olympic damnation as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has pushed forward the timeline to keep or exclude boxing from the Olympic Games from the 2028 Games to Paris in 2024. The IOC cites concerns with the IBA resigning a deal with Gazprom. If you will recall, we went into depth of the Gazprom deal and why it’s such a conflict of interest in Shadows of Corruption Part 2 earlier this month. You can read the full IOC statement below:
“The recent IBA Congress has shown once more that IBA has no real interest in the sport of boxing and the boxers, but is only interested in its own power. The decisions and discussions to keep boxers away from the Olympic qualifiers and the Olympic Games cannot be understood differently. It has also become clear again, that IBA wants to distract from its own grave governance issues by pointing to the past, which has been addressed by the IOC already in 2019. There is no will to understand the real issues, the contrary: the extension of the sponsorship contract with Gazprom as the sole main sponsor of IBA reinforces the concerns, which the IOC has expressed since 2019 over and over again. This announcement confirms that IBA will continue to depend on a company which is largely controlled by the Russian government. The concerns also include the recent handling of the CAS decision which did not lead a new Presidential election, but only a vote not to hold an election. The IOC will have to take all this into consideration when it takes further decisions, which may – after these latest developments – have to include the cancellation of boxing for the Olympic Games Paris 2024.”
The IOC forced to take action
Qualifications for the Olympics starts on May 1st for boxing but the IOC has already taken the reigns from the IBA in 2020 by running qualifications themselves in 2020. But the IOC is not a national federation and that job should rely on that and not the IOC.
Boxing was excluded from the 2028 Olympic programme in Los Angeles which was to be under review after the IBA made promised changes. Instead of making progress, the IBA doubled down on their agenda by resigning with Gazprom and refusing to hold an election to replace Russian IBA President Umar Kremlev.
Now, IBA’s stubbornness will likely see boxing omitted from the Games and possibly in 2024, four years sooner than many thought. But with the IBA not adhering to what the Olympic Spirit truly is, one can’t blame the IOC for taking such action.
The IBA, at this point, is on a path for destruction and if the IOC sees them as a power hungry organization, fans can expect to see that power stripped by the IOC and prop up another body to organize their boxing events. There are plenty of sports trying to join the Olympics the right way. MMA and kickboxing are among the two newcomers that desperately want a spot and karate is hoping to make it’s return after it’s one-and-done year in 2020.
In addition to covering boxing for My MMA News, Blaine Henry, the author, also analyzes fights from all combat sports across the globe.
Your friendly neighborhood fight fan. I watch way too many fights and my wife lets me know it.