Now AIBA faces threat from Kazakh-led Olympic breakaway group
AIBA, the beleaguered international federation for boxing in the Olympic Games, is facing a threat from a breakaway group that wants to organise the sport at the Tokyo 2020 games.
The threat comes with AIBA locked in a desperate struggle to avoid boxing being kicked out of the games over the International Olympic Committee’s concerns about its governance.
AIBA said that the “rogue group” led by unnamed “Kazakhstani individuals” had circulated a letter urging national boxing associations to write to the IOC offering help to run the Olympic boxing tournament, without the involvement of AIBA. Citing “the dire situation of the sport of boxing,” the letter claimed that “our group is ready to provide with the necessary technical expertise and sufficient financial conditions” to run the tournament.
AIBA said that it “assumes that the IOC has dismissed and distanced itself from any and all of these activities initiated by this group of individuals. The IOC has been contacted with regards to the letter, however, no response has been provided in return.”
AIBA is presently addressing a lengthy list of questions from Deloitte, the professional services firm commissioned by the IOC to probe governance, ethics and financial management at the federation.
AIBA has said that the 41 questions focus “primarily on finances but as well on governance, ethics, refereeing and judging and anti-doping.”
At the end of November, the IOC froze all preparations for the Olympic boxing tournament in Tokyo in 2020, including ticket sales, approval and implementation of a qualification system, test event planning and finalisation of the competition schedule, pending the inquiry.
Following an executive committee meeting at the weekend in Istanbul, AIBA once again hit out at the IOC over the disruption caused to its Olympic qualifying process by the suspension. Franco Falcinelli, its vice president, was quoted as saying: “We are making good progress and together we are moving in the right direction. Is it really in the best interest of our athletes or the so-called protection for our boxers and our sport to wait until the end of June for them to know their participation to the Olympic Games? […] why put boxing’s presence in the Olympic Games in strong doubts for so long?”
In November last year, the IOC’s executive board declared itself to be still dissatisfied with AIBA’s plans to address the IOC concerns contained in the latest of a series of reports demanded by the IOC.Sportcal