(ATR) As the International Olympic Committee levies Olympic expulsion threats at the International Boxing Association, the federation’s new Executive Director believes he can help establish trust with the IOC and keep boxing as an Olympic mainstay.
AIBA Executive Director Tom Virgets with AIBA EC member Pat Fiacco in Dubai (ATR)
“Yes we have problems in boxing, we have not behaved appropriately for a period of time but theres still a very valuable product there and we have a group of individuals there committed to making that product a model for the IOC,” Tom Virgets tells Around the Rings
Editor Ed Hula on the latest edition of ATRadio.
The crux of the issue between AIBA and the IOC is the ousting of AIBA’s last president and IOC Executive Committee Member C.K. Wu and the ensuing leadership vacuum. AIBA Vice President Franco Falcinelli stepped in to run the federation in the interim as Wu was deposed, but was replaced by new interim president Gafur Rakhimov at the Extraordinary Congress in January to adhere to AIBA’s governance statutes.
While Rakhimov is the longest serving AIBA vice president, questions surround some of his business ties and he is on a list that suggests he shouldn’t be allowed entry to the United States due to suspected connections to organized crime.
When asked how AIBA can rectify the suspicions cast at the federation with the interim leadership of Gofur Rakhimov, Virgets asks “where is the proof”?
“Show us evidence that Gofur Rakhimov is a criminal,” Virgets says. “No one has charged him of any crime, he’s never served a day of time in jail and he has no criminal record. If the proof is there prosecute. If there isn’t proof, let’s say he’s innocent until proven guilty.”
AIBA is also trying to resolve outstanding financial issues that arose under the former leadership with faulty loans, as well as recover from what Virgets refers to as an “incompetent” core of judges scoring the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics.
Contact between AIBA and the IOC currently only exists at the operational level. However, Virgets will be moving to Lausanne in his new position and says he will personally see to it that communication between the two organizations improves.
“I personally believe the more communications we have at all levels in the IOC, the more trust we are going to be able to develop with the IOC and the better it’s going to be for our sport,” he says.
“It’s essential that we meet the mandates of the IOC and that we as quickly as possible get ourselves back in good favor and regain the confidence of that organization.”
Virgets details how AIBA plans to recover from its missteps in his interview on ATRadio available below:
Written by Gerard Farek
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