IBA Appeals CAS Verdict While Boxing Looks to the Future

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IBA Champions' Night held in Madrid in May 2024 (Photo: IBA)

The embattled International Boxing Association (IBA) continues to look to the past, filing an appeal with the Swiss Federal Tribunal over the April ruling of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) that upheld the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decision to remove IBA from the Olympic family.

The IBA was de-recognised in June 2023 over concerns about its governance, reliance on money from Russian state energy firm Gazprom, and the integrity of bouts.

IBA had appealed to CAS, but it lost its appeal as CAS ruled in April 2024 that IBA failed to meet the IOC’s conditions for recognition.

“The IBA had not increased its financial transparency and sustainability including through diversification of revenues,” the CAS said in its April statement.

Next, it said the IBA “had not changed its process relating to referees and judges to ensure its integrity, including a monitoring period for IBA’s own competitions ahead of the Olympic Games Paris 2024.”

IBA has now appealed to the Swiss Federal Tribunal against the CAS ruling.

“We felt that CAS violated our right to be heard, we felt that they didn’t properly analyze all the issues and the arguments that we put forward, so we appealed to the (Swiss Federal Tribunal) court,” said Chris Roberts, IBA’s General Secretary and CEO.

Meanwhile, the rest of the boxing world has moved on. The Paris Olympics begin in a few weeks, and all eyes are on the boxing tournament that IOC is administering without IBA’s involvement. The IOC had also operated the boxing tournament on its own at Tokyo 2020. 

Boxing is currently not on the programme for the Los Angeles Games in 2028.

IBA’s rival federation, World Boxing, has made the continuation of boxing at the Olympics its main objective. It has begun talks with the IOC to include boxing in the LA Games.

More national federations are signing up to join World Boxing in recognition of these efforts. India, Barbados, Dominica, Peru and Singapore have recently joined World Boxing, bringing its total membership to 33 countries.

The IOC has made it clear that it would like to appoint a new federation partner by early 2025 to facilitate the administration of boxing at the Olympic Games. 

In all likelihood, World Boxing will probably meet these requirements and fill the vacuum left by IBA’s removal.

All this leaves IBA isolated, and its continuing legal efforts to be included only serve to diminish its reputation even further.

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