The International Olympic Committee (IOC), during an extraordinary session on Thursday, adopted the recommendation of the IOC Executive Committee to revoke the recognition of the International Boxing Association (IBA) headed by Russian national Umar Kremlev.
During the voting, 69 people were in favor of the decision, one person voted against it, while ten people abstained.
Earlier in the day, IOC Director General Christophe De Kepper recommended that the IOC ban the IBA from conducting an Olympic boxing tournament at the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.
“The IOC Executive Board recommends that the IOC session withdraws the IOC’s recognition of the IBA in accordance with the Olympic Charter Rule 3.7. As an additional consequence of the decision above, the IOC Executive Board recommends to the IOC session to decide that the IBA should not organize at the Olympic Games at LA 2028 a boxing tournament,” De Kepper said.
On June 7, the IOC recommended the recognition of the IBA be revoked as it had failed to fulfill the conditions set by the IOC in December 2021, namely, improved governance, financial transparency and sustainability as well as credibility of boxing competitions.
The IBA called the committee’s decision “a tremendous error,” which revealed the organization’s “true politicized nature.”
“Today, on 22 June 2023, the IOC has made a tremendous error by withdrawing its recognition of the IBA, revealing its true politicized nature. It is noteworthy that on this very day, 82 years ago, fascist Germany launched an attack on the peaceful citizens of the Soviet Union, resulting in the escalation of war and a devastating human tragedy. We cannot conceal the fact that today’s decision is catastrophic for global boxing and blatantly contradicts the IOC’s claims of acting in the best interests of boxing and athletes,” the IBA said in a statement on the website.
The association noted that it has successfully implemented all recommendations outlined by the IOC in its roadmap, “resolved the accumulated debts from the previous management, enhanced the sporting integrity by improving judging and refereeing, renewed the Board of Directors, attracted experienced professionals from various continents, and successfully rebranded AIBA into IBA.”
The IBA raised a number of questions and demands to IOC President Thomas Bach and was expecting the IOC to publicly state its position within the next 10 days.
“Why has the IOC not evaluated the actions of C.K. Wu and acknowledged his responsibility for corruption in AIBA, considering he was an IOC member and Executive Board member at that time? The IOC has not concluded the scandalous investigation related to the public information and sale of medals at the Olympic Games. Instead, they have chosen to suppress this information in the media. The IOC has avoided direct communication with the IBA, disregarding the progress we have made and failing to respond to the global changes that have occurred in the past two years. They have concealed all our achievements,” the statement read.
The association also said that athletes “participating and succeeding in the Olympic Games do not receive proper rewards despite the substantial income generated from tournaments and their promotion” and demanded that revenues “obtained from advertising, broadcasting, and ticket sales in organizing the boxing tournament at the 2024 Olympics be directed towards improving the well-being of boxers through prize money for athletes and coaches,” as well as to “introduce a financial support program for boxers who are unable to participate in the Games, enabling them to proudly represent their countries in Paris 2024.” The association, in turn, will allocate funds to assist athletes in both qualifying tournaments and the Olympics.
The IBA also claimed that the actions of the IOC are “driven by political decisions rather than considering the opinion of the sports community” and “contradict the fundamental principles of Olympism enshrined in the Olympic Charter.”
The association urged the committee to adhere to the fundamental principles of “sport outside politics” and “non-interference in the internal affairs of international federations,” opposed any form of discrimination and said it was prepared “to do everything in our power to prevent decisions that undermine one of the most spectacular sports, which also happens to be one of the founding disciplines of the Olympic Movement.”