“Enough is enough,” according to the International Olympic Committee (IOC). It has stripped the International Boxing Association (IBA) of its right to organise boxing at the Olympic Games in Paris due to governance issues.
With IBA (then AIBA) dropped from the Tokyo Games last year too, this will now be the second consecutive Olympics where boxing features in the Games without the federation that manages the sport.
This shows the ineffectiveness of current IBA president Umar Kremlev, who was elected in 2020 to bring back IBA into the Olympic fold.
A letter to Kremlev today from IOC Director General Christophe De Kepper and IOC Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer Pâquerette Girard Zappelli – seen by WorldBoxing.Today – said the decision to remove IBA from Paris 2024 was unanimous.
“In the interest of the athletes and the boxing community, the IOC EB decided unanimously that the boxing qualifying events and the competitions at the Olympic Games Paris 2024 will not be run under the authority of the IBA.
“The decision is centred on the athletes and the need to provide certainty on Olympic competitions and qualifications leading to Paris 2024,” the letter said.
According to IOC sports director Kit McConnell, Kremlev’s recent ‘re-election’ after his only challenger Boris van der Vorst was disqualified on the eve of the election, was the last straw for the IOC.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled last week that van der Vorst should not have been disqualified.
“The IOC felt enough was enough. To give athletes certainty, the IOC Executive Board had to step in,” McConnell told the media.
The IOC has for several years expressed concerns about the integrity of IBA’s management and finances, and the refereeing and judging of bouts.
It pointed out that no host city contracts had yet been signed by IBA for its proposed Paris 2024 qualification system, with just two years until quota spots have to be finalised.
McConnell said the IOC had not decided the format of the boxing taskforce for Paris or if it would be similar to the one used for the Tokyo Games.
He acknowledged that the “limited pool of qualified referees and judges” was an issue, but promised they “will again go through a very extensive review and process”.
“The IOC administration will finalise, on an exceptional basis, alternative models for the organisation of these boxing competitions, working closely with the Paris 2024 Organising Committee and athletes’ representatives,” he added.
“The outcomes of these discussions and suggested recommendations will then be presented to the IOC Executive Board in due course.”
Being dropped from Paris is a rebuke to Kremlev and his lack of serious reforms in governance, financial oversight and refereeing and judging. It is also a body blow for IBA, from which the federation may perhaps not recover.
“Whether boxing will be included in the sports programme of the Olympic Games Los Angeles 2028 will be discussed at a later stage,” said the IOC officials in their letter.