Boxing poised to get knocked out of Olympics after Paris 2024

Agence France-Presse
Boxing poised to get knocked out of Olympics after Paris 2024

LAUSANNE, Switzerland – The International Olympic Committee on Wednesday (Thursday, Manila time) finally ran out of patience with boxing's rulers, casting doubt over the sport's inclusion in future Games after Paris 2024.

The IOC's executive board (EB) meeting in Lausanne "recommended" the Olympics ceases to recognize the International Boxing Association (IBA) as the sport's governing body.

The decision, due to be ratified by the IOC later this month, brings to an end four years of sparring between, in the one corner the IOC, and in the other the under-fire custodians of a sport that has appeared at every Games since 1904.

The IBA was suspended by the IOC in 2019 for multiple corruption scandals.

The IBA has also come under attack for its governance, financial transparency and sustainability.

Their major backer has been Russian energy giant Gazprom in a deal worth a reported $50 million.

The IBA's president is Umar Kremlev of Russia.

The IBA, in contrast to many other international sports bodies, continue to allow athletes from Russia and its political ally Belarus to compete under their own flags despite last year's invasion of Ukraine.

The Women's World Boxing Championships in India last month went ahead with several nations boycotting the event because of the IBA's policy.

Boxing only went ahead in the Covid-delayed Tokyo Olympics after the IOC stepped in to ensure the qualification criteria.

After Wednesday's meeting the IOC's EB said that "in the interest of the boxing athletes and the sport of boxing" it would recommend that boxing maintain its place at the Paris Games next year.

An extraordinary IOC session will discuss boxing's place in the Olympics on June 22.

"Since this is an ongoing procedure, the IOC is not in a position to comment further on the situation," a statement added.

The IBA's fall from grace coincides with the emergence of a new umbrella federation, World Boxing, which already counts the United States, which hosts the 2028 Games in Los Angeles, and Switzerland, as members.

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