Olympic boxing on the brink after surprise IBA sanction for Ukraine junior team | The IOC “extremely worried” | boxing news

Boxing remains on the verge of being permanently excluded from the Olympics.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will conduct a comprehensive review of the International Boxing Association (IBA), the sport’s governing body, at its next meeting in December.

The IBA unexpectedly banned the Ukrainian national federation and has now banned the Ukrainian junior team from competing under its flag and anthem at the European Championships, currently underway in Italy. This caused the IOC to again raise serious concerns about the IBA.

Umar Kremlev is the outgoing chairman of international governing body IBA, which voted against re-election at an extraordinary congress

The IOC said it would conduct a full review at its next meeting in December.

IBA is already on the verge of losing its place in the Olympics due to governance, funding and arbitration issues that date back years.

Amateur boxing’s world governing body was also stripped of any involvement in the Tokyo Olympics last year, and the sport is not on the original program for the Los Angeles Games in 2028 pending a series of reforms demanded by the IOC.

The IOC organizes the boxing competitions for the Paris 2024 Olympics.

“The IOC is extremely concerned about the situation in the federation (IBA),” the IOC said. Reuters in a statement Friday. “Among other concerns, this includes the fact that the recognized National Boxing Federation of Ukraine was suspended shortly before the IBA congress for disputed reasons.

The board said it would review the situation at its next meeting, scheduled for Dec. 5-7.

The IBA, led by Russian businessman Umar Kremlev, suspended the Ukrainian federation last week, leaving it unable to vote in the federation’s elections.

The IBA does not recognize Kyrylo Shevchenko as president of the Ukrainian federation but instead considers Volodymyr Prodyvus, a Kremlev ally who left Ukraine after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February and is now vice president of the IBA, as leader.

In an unprecedented decision this week, the IBA also banned Ukraine’s junior boxing team from competing under its flag and anthem at the European Championships in Italy, citing the ongoing dispute with the country’s boxing federation. .

“The fact that the Ukrainian junior boxing team is not allowed to participate in the European Championship in Italy if they compete using national identifiers such as the national flag, anthem and any symbol of Ukraine adds to the many concerns expressed before,” the IOC said. .

He had already warned last month that the slow pace of reform and IBA’s financial dependence on Russian energy company Gazprom were of serious concern.

Wladimir Klitschko, the former world heavyweight champion who stayed in his native country to support the resistance to the Russian invasion, expressed his support for the national team, criticizing “the Russian members of the leadership of the IBA and Volodymyr Prodyvus”.

“There’s not much time left”

On Sunday, IBA members voted against the re-run of the presidential election, seen as key to establishing better governance.

The move has raised fears that boxing will no longer be an Olympic sport after 2024.

England Boxing, the national federation, responded afterward, stressing the need for sweeping reform, saying the IOC’s heightened concerns were justified.

“We are very disappointed with what happened at the IBA Extraordinary Congress, share the concerns of the IOC and are concerned about what this could mean for the future of Olympic boxing,” said Jerome Pels, managing director of England Boxing.

“We supported Boris van der Vorst and expected to have the right to vote for him in a democratic election. We believe he would have been the right candidate to move the IBA forward, to fix governance and restore its reputation as a global governing body.

“The fact that the election was averted, by voting whether an election was needed in the first place, clearly heightened IOC concerns – and rightly so.

“Continuing with the status quo can have huge consequences for sport and athletes who want to participate in fair and well-run competitions.

“England Boxing will be watching the development of the relationship between the IOC and the IBA very carefully. It is essential that the number one objective of the IBA is to return to the fold of the Olympic family and that it be restored as a as a trusted authority that runs the sport of boxing at the highest level, and there’s not much time left to do that job.”

Sky Sports

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