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  • IOC Executive Board Meets to Decide Boxing Fate


    (ATR) Leaders at the IOC will deliberate a report produced by the International Boxing Association to decide if the federation is fit to administer the sport at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

    The Executive Board meeting in Tokyo (ATR)
    AIBA has drawn the IOC’s ire over a deterioration of the federation’s finances and concerns over the new leadership governing the federation.

    In July the IOC Executive Board said it needed to see more reforms from AIBA in terms of its finances, governance, and its judging and refereeing. IOC President Thomas Bach said the sport’s place on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic program “will greatly depend on the result of the AIBA congress later this year”.

    At the AIBA Congress the federation elected Gafur Rahimov as president. Rahimov had taken over on an interim basis after past President CK Wu resigned under pressure after it was revealed he had signed commercial arrangements without the federation’s knowledge. Those arrangements left the federation severely in debt.

    The Executive Board will now review a report produced about boxing at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games.

    Auditing firm Pricewaterhouse Cooper produced the report, which detailed how new steps to produce fairer judging and refereeing measures went.

    In a statement AIBA said that the new changes were “positively received by athletes and technical officials alike”.
    AIBA reformed its refereeing and judging system in wake of criticism of the Rio 2016 Olympic boxing tournament. Following the Olympics all judges who worked at the Olympics were suspended by AIBA pending an investigation following claims of match fixing at the Games by Irish boxer Michael Conlan.

    “They’re known for being cheats,” Conlan said after losing a quarterfinal bout controversially. “Amateur boxing stinks from the core right to the top. It’s about whoever pays the most money.”

    At the 2018 Youth Olympic Games top AIBA brass removed itself from the appointment and approval process regarding judging, and implemented extra levels of monitoring to the process.

    During the tournament the federation also returned to having five judges each score a bout, and implemented a computerized selection process for fights.

    Boxing at the YOG (ATR)
    “While the new systems have been successfully implemented and approved by the independent organization PwC and the IOC,” the federation said in a statement. “AIBA is dedicated to continuously investing in new technologies to further improve its refereeing and judging processes in the lead up to Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and beyond.”

    IOC Sporting Director Kit McConnell will be in the executive board meeting. In Buenos Aires he likened the boxing tournament to any other event at the YOG.

    AIBA also said in a statement ahead of the meeting that it had “managed to restore a healthy and sustainable financial situation” in the month after its Moscow Congress.

    “After having spent a lot of time and energy in closing deals and bringing the AIBA finances under control, these many positive statements from our members are also a very strong motivation personally,” Gafur Rahimov, AIBA President, said in a statement.

    Now, it will be up for the IOC Executive Board to figure out what to do with the sport going forward. It is unlikely a decision will come today removing AIBA as the sport’s governing body, given the legal complexities of the matter. The close proximity to Olympic qualifying could save the sport from being axed from the Tokyo 2020 program. Any decision would come with just over 600 days until the Games begin.

    Written by Aaron Bauer in Tokyo

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