Russian Umar Kremlev remains IBA president after new elections are canceled


Boxing’s Olympic future remains highly uncertain after members of the sport’s governing body, the International Boxing Association (IBA), voted against holding a presidential election last weekend, reaffirming the leadership of its controversial president, Umar Kremlev.

Concerned about allegations of corruption within the IBA and a match-fixing scandal at the Rio Olympics in 2016, the International Olympic Committee dropped the original program for the Los Angeles Games in 2028. IOC officials have left open the possibility of restoring boxing when LA’s final schedule is completed next September or October, but repeated their concerns about the way Kremlev, a Russian sports executive, runs the IBA.

The IOC oversaw boxing competition at the Tokyo Olympics and announced earlier this year it would do so again for Paris 2024 after the IBA disqualified Dutch boxing official Boris van der Vorst from a previous presidential election which Kremlev then won unopposed. The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) later ruled that van der Vorst should not have been disqualified, setting up Sunday’s vote, which many saw as perhaps a last chance for boxing to stay in the Olympics after Paris.

Corruption Accusations and Contested Elections: The Fight to Save Olympic Boxing

But after IBA members voted against holding an election, 106-36, Kremlev stuck to his guns.

Although Kremlev promised to reform the IBA, he alarmed IOC officials by moving much of the organization’s operations from Lausanne, Switzerland to Russia, spent a lot of money on marketing which seemed to promote and resisted calls for an outside organization to manage the mission. judges and referees at events. The IOC has also expressed concern that the IBA’s sole sponsor is Russian energy company Gazprom, which backed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In a statement, the IOC said it was “extremely concerned” that the IBA did not hold a presidential election and said its board “should fully review the situation at its next meeting. “.

The IBA continued to say they wanted boxing to stay in the Olympics, but Kremlev seemed to signal a move away from the Games. in a speech to IBA members on Sunday saying “we shouldn’t say Olympic boxing, we should say IBA boxing.”

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