The latest development in a long line of hiccups for Olympic Boxing sees the International Olympic Committee (IOC) removing the sport from the 2028 lineup.
Boxing has been an Olympic sport since 1904, with many fighters making their way from the Olympics to professional boxing. Just a few include Anthony Joshua, Oleksander Usyk, Wladimir Klitschko, George Foreman, Joe Frazier, and Muhammad Ali.
The current issues first arose in 2017, when former IBA president, CK Wu, was suspended before stepping down. The IOC President, Thomas Bach, told reporters:
“There is the governance issues, there is the fact that financial statements have not been made fully transparent, there are still questions open with regard to judging, refereeing and anti-doping” (h/t Reuters)
This led to the 2020 Olympics being overseen by the IOC directly. However, the controversy continued last year when Canadian lawyer Prof. Richard McLaren revealed through an independent report that bouts were manipulated in the lead-up to Rio 2016.
Olympic Boxing in Paris 2024
As a result, the IOC have again stripped the IBA of their right to administer the 2024 games. The most recent statement makes it clear that they do not intend on doing so for a third time. Without swift and effective reform within the IBA to remedy the issues raised by the IOC, the situation looks dire.
Current IBA President Umar Kremlev (RUS), spoke after the IBA voted against permitting a leadership challenge.
“We were very disappointed with the IOC decision to withdraw the IBA’s right to run the qualification and boxing tournament in Paris 2024. During the last 22 months, we achieved strong progress in governance, finance and refereeing and judging, all of which were not taken into consideration [by the IOC’s decision].” (h/t Sky Sports News)
Kremlev added, “We shouldn’t say Olympic boxing, we should say IBA boxing… I am working for you, not a side organisation… No one else should have influence on the organisation.” (h/t Irish Mirror)
Want to suggest a correction or provide other feedback? Contact the editor at [email protected]!