AIBA 'confident' of Olympic future after meeting with IOC ad-hoc committee
AIBA, the beleaguered international governing body for boxing in the Olympic Games, has expressed confidence over the future of the sport in the games after a meeting with an International Olympic Committee inquiry committee into AIBA’s alleged governance and financial irregularities.
In a statement, AIBA adopted a more conciliatory tone after earlier criticising the IOC over what it regarded as unnecessary delays in resolving the issue, placing its qualification process for next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo in peril.
Following yesterday’s meeting, AIBA said: “During the meeting, a number of areas were discussed including AIBA’s significant progress in regards to finance, governance and refereeing and judging. AIBA provided the committee with insights into its complete transformation of the organisation, explaining the improvements made and assessment tools put in place that will ensure the continued positive work that has been done to rebuild all areas of the organisation. In addition, the AIBA team further responded to the last outstanding points raised by the committee.”
At the end of November last year, the IOC froze all preparations for the 2020 Olympic boxing tournament, including ticket sales, approval and implementation of a qualification system, test event planning and finalisation of the competition schedule, pending an inquiry into the alleged governance and financial irregularities.
Since then, the controversial Gafur Rahimov has resigned as AIBA president, to be replaced by Morocco’s Mohamed Moustahsane. Rahimov is listed by the US Department of the Treasury as “one of Uzbekistan’s leading criminals,” and has been accused by the US authorities of being “an important person involved in the heroin trade,” allegations he steadfastly denies.
In the statement, Moustahsane said: “We had a very productive meeting with the IOC inquiry committee today and we remain confident that Mr. Lalovic and his team will be able to positively report back to the IOC Executive Board in a few days’ time. We have done everything in our power to work with the IOC and all of our Olympic Partners, and we remain optimistic about the future of Olympic Boxing and AIBA’s ability safeguard this great sport.”
Nenad Lalovic, the president of United World Wrestling,is heading the ad-hoc inquiry into the governance of AIBA.
Following a meeting of its executive board last month, the IOC said that, after conducting a probe of AIBA, it will file a full report at a meeting scheduled for tomorrow.