Boxing’s Olympic future even more uncertain after Iba’s endorsement of president | Boxing

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The future of Olympic boxing was further uncertain on Sunday as delegates from the sport’s world governing body for amateurs, the International Boxing Association (Iba), voted emphatically against allowing a challenge of leadership to outgoing President Umar Kremlev.

The Kremlev was backed to continue by 106 votes to 36 at a special congress in the Armenian capital, Yerevan, after a 45-minute delay caused by a power outage. The verdict is widely believed to shatter hopes of the sport regaining its place on the Olympic program for the 2028 Games in Los Angeles.

After cementing his status as Iba president, Russia’s Kremlev delivered an upbeat speech in which he appeared to prioritize a new path away from the Olympics, insisting: “We shouldn’t say Olympic boxing, we should say Iba boxing”.

In a speech peppered with apparent beards to the International Olympic Committee [IOC]Kremlev told delegates, “I work for you, not for some parallel organization,” and added, “No one else should have influence in the organization.”

The congress took place because Dutch delegate Boris van der Vorst had successfully appealed an earlier decision preventing him from challenging the Kremlev leadership in May. Van der Vorst was found to have breached campaign rules by the Boxing Independent Integrity Unit, but the decision was later overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport. [Cas].

In a statement, the [IOC] said he was “extremely concerned” about the circumstances surrounding the congress, particularly the voting procedure and the Iba’s decision to suspend the Ukrainian federation due to perceived government concerns.

“Following these worrying developments, the IOC [executive board] should fully review the situation at its next meeting,” the statement added. The IOC has already expressed “serious concerns” over Kremlev’s leadership on the Iba and dropped boxing from the initial list of sports for the 2028 Games.

As The Guardian revealed, the IOC wrote to the Kremlev in May to reiterate concerns about governance, the integrity of judges and the financial viability of the organization it leads. The 39-year-old claimed in April that Iba had ‘built trust’ with the IOC.

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    Kremlev was pictured with Russian President Vladimir Putinat the opening of a new international boxing center in Moscow at the beginning of September.

    Boxing remains on the program for the 2024 Olympics in Paris, but as with the delayed 2020 Games in Tokyo, competitions will be administered by an IOC-appointed task force, with the Iba banned from hosting Olympic events. There seems to be little will within the IOC to repeat this process in 2028.

    The IOC first withdrew recognition from Iba – then called Aiba – in June 2019, following allegations of rigged decisions at the 2016 Rio Olympics and financial mismanagement under previous president CK Wu, who resigned despite the allegations being denied.



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