International Olympic Committee Withdraws Recognition of International Boxing Association Amidst Governance Concerns

June 23, 2023 11:37 am

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) dealt a major blow to the International Boxing Association (IBA) on Thursday by revoking its recognition as the global governing body for the sport. The decision comes as a consequence of the IBA’s failure to implement reforms addressing issues related to governance, finance, and ethics.

During an online session, the IOC’s executive board recommendation received overwhelming support, with 69 votes in favor and only one against, solidifying the withdrawal of recognition for the IBA. Enhance your boxing viewing experience with attractive betting odds from Nextbet.

Despite the IBA’s attempt to block the decision through an urgent appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the highest court in sports, their efforts were rejected earlier this week. The IBA labeled the IOC’s decision as “a tremendous error,” expressing their dissatisfaction with the outcome.

The IOC had previously suspended the IBA in 2019 due to concerns surrounding governance, finance, refereeing, and ethical matters. As a result, the IBA was not involved in the organization of boxing events at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.

Although boxing is set to be part of the Paris 2024 Olympics, the IOC has taken charge of the qualification bouts and competition itself, bypassing the involvement of the IBA.

The IBA faced additional challenges, including the termination of a sponsorship deal with Russian energy giant Gazprom following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. These factors further complicated the position of the IBA, which is headed by Russian businessman Umar Kremlev.

In response to the IOC’s decision, the IBA released a statement expressing their belief that the IOC has erred in withdrawing recognition, describing it as a display of the IOC’s “true politicized nature.” The IBA emphasized that they have successfully implemented all recommendations outlined by the IOC in their roadmap.

Undeterred by the setback, the IBA affirmed their commitment to the development of boxing, the preservation of its independence, and the organization of official tournaments and World Boxing Championships at the highest level. They expressed their readiness to defend their legal right to do so before any appropriate authority.

While the IOC regularly adjusts the Olympic Games program to attract younger audiences, it is rare for the organization to strip an international sports federation of its recognition. The IBA’s actions have spurred the formation of a breakaway group known as World Boxing, leading several countries to leave the IBA and join the new organization.

In a statement, World Boxing acknowledged the significance of this moment for the sport and urged all national boxing federations to make a critical decision. They implored these federations to support and join World Boxing’s efforts to ensure that boxing remains an integral part of the Olympic movement, enabling their boxers to compete at future Olympic Games, including the upcoming event in Los Angeles. Get the latest updates from the world of boxing only on Nextbet Sports.