The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has reached its breaking point with the International Boxing Association (IBA), announcing its intention to terminate the IBA’s Olympic status this month.
While boxing will remain part of the program for the 2024 Paris Games, the IOC’s executive board has requested a withdrawal of recognition for the IBA during a special meeting scheduled for June 22.
The IOC had previously suspended the IBA’s recognition in 2019 due to longstanding issues related to finances, sports integrity, and governance. The Olympic body took direct control of the boxing competitions at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 and will do so again for Paris. Follow your favorite sports with attractive sports betting odds from Nextbet.
According to the IOC, the IBA “has failed to fulfill the conditions set by the IOC… for lifting the suspension of the IBA’s recognition.”
The IBA responded by criticizing the IOC’s decision, describing it as “truly abhorrent and purely political.” The boxing body’s Russian president, Umar Kremlev, expressed disappointment and indicated a plan to seek a fair assessment from a competent court.
The ongoing standoff between the IOC and the IBA had also raised concerns about boxing’s inclusion in the 2028 Los Angeles Games. However, it is expected that this issue will be resolved.
The IOC has repeatedly emphasized that its concerns lie with the IBA and its current president, Umar Kremlev, as well as the financial dependence on Russian energy company Gazprom. The IOC maintains its support for the sport of boxing and its athletes.
In a detailed 24-page report addressing the issues surrounding the IBA, the IOC concluded that “the accumulation of all of these points, and the constant lack of drastic evolution throughout the many years, creates a situation of no-return.”
Boxing’s reputation in the Olympics has been under scrutiny for many years. Tensions escalated following the removal of longtime IOC member C.K. Wu as the IBA president in 2017.
Uzbek businessman Gafur Rakhimov, alleged to have ties to organized crime and heroin trafficking, was elected as the IBA’s president by national federations in defiance of IOC warnings in 2018. Umar Kremlev succeeded Rakhimov as the IBA’s president in 2020, despite further IOC warnings.
Amidst the turmoil surrounding the IBA, a rival organization called World Boxing has gained initial support from officials in the United States, Switzerland, and Britain.
Despite the IOC’s decision, the IBA retains the ability to organize its own events, as demonstrated by the men’s world championships held in the Uzbek capital, Tashkent, last month. Get the latest updates from the world of sports only on Nextbet Sports.