IOC questions Olympic boxing leadership after IBA election

FILE - Russian Boxing Federation Secretary General, International Boxing Association (AIBA) Executive Committee Member Umar Kremlev holds a news conference in Moscow, Russia October 27, 2020. The Russian incumbent's challenger at the presidential election at the struggling International Boxing Association was ruled ineligible a day before the vote.  Umar Kremlev is a candidate for re-election despite sanctions imposed on Russian sports and fears that the IBA is financially dependent on Gazprom.  (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

FILE – Russian Boxing Federation Secretary General, International Boxing Association (AIBA) Executive Committee Member Umar Kremlev holds a news conference in Moscow, Russia October 27, 2020. The Russian incumbent’s challenger at the presidential election at the struggling International Boxing Association was ruled ineligible a day before the vote. Umar Kremlev is a candidate for re-election despite sanctions imposed on Russian sports and fears that the IBA is financially dependent on Gazprom. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

PA

With boxing’s status at the Olympics uncertain, the IOC was unimpressed on Saturday with the sport’s governing body leadership election stripped of recognition in 2019.

Members of the International Boxing Association re-elected their Russian president Umar Kremlev by acclamation two days after the only other candidate, from the Netherlands, was ruled out by an independent vetting committee.

“The events surrounding the IBA General Assembly, in particular the elections, deserve careful analysis and only reinforce questions and doubts around the governance of the IBA,” the International Olympic Committee said in a statement. communicated.

Saturday’s vote marked the third presidential election in less than four years where boxing officials around the world have voted a winner in defiance of IOC advice.

The IOC has for several years expressed concerns about the integrity of IBA’s management and finances, and the potentially inappropriate judging of bouts at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics under previous management.

The Olympic body excluded the IBA from helping to organize boxing at the Tokyo Games last year and left it out of the initial list of sports for the 2028 edition in Los Angeles.

Without a share of Tokyo’s Olympic revenue, Kremlev won boxing backing for writing off millions of dollars in IBA debt, albeit apparently from a single Russian source.

“The IOC’s various concerns, including financial dependence on state-owned Gazprom, remain unresolved,” the IOC said.

Boxing is due to be at the Paris Olympics in 2024, but the IOC warned IBA members last week of concerns over the proposed qualification path for hundreds of boxers.

The IOC said its executive board “will receive an update on the latest developments from the IBA” at a two-day meeting next week.

The Kremlev’s expected opponent in the elections, Boris van der Vorst, has filed an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport against his exclusion from the elections. He has faced complaints about prohibited collaboration with candidates for other IBA positions.

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