THE latest report, which the International Olympic Committee demanded from AIBA, the sport’s governing body, has not staved off the threat of boxing being expelled from the Olympic Games.
AIBA’s shortcomings have left boxing on thin ice with the Olympic Games and the IOC have reserved the right to exclude boxing as soon as Tokyo 2020. Their concerns hinge on AIBA’s governance, and financial and sporting integrity. AIBA has until July 11 to take further actions.
IOC president Thomas Bach said, “This report [from AIBA] shows some progress and goodwill, but still lacks execution and, in some areas, substance. We now need to see action. Therefore, we retain our right to exclude boxing from the programme of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. With regard to the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, we decided to protect these young athletes who cannot be blamed for all the issues we have on the table and keep boxing on the programme. This will happen on the condition that the refereeing system, meaning the appointment process of the judges, is approved by international independent experts.”
The appointment of Gafur Rakimov, who has been sanctioned by the US Treasury department, also remains a grave concern.
AIBA at least drew on the positives of having progress recognised. Tom Virgets, AIBA Executive Director, said, “The whole AIBA organisation has been working extremely hard in the last few months and we are very pleased that these efforts and results have been recognized by our colleagues at the IOC. In line with our commitment to transparency, we look forward to sharing the submitted report with all of our members as soon as possible. This is a new AIBA and we are fully committed to putting into action the values of boxing and the Olympic movement.”