IOC Sets 2025 Deadline for New Boxing Body to Keep the Sport at Olympics

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The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said it would like to appoint a new federation partner to facilitate the administration of boxing at the Olympic Games. 

The sports body must come forward by “early 2025” to become a member association of the IOC. 

If no suitable partner can be found, boxing’s position at the Los Angeles Games in 2028 would be in jeopardy. 

On April 2, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) upheld the IOC’s decision to strip the International Boxing Association (IBA) as a federation partner of the Olympics. The IOC had suspended the IBA over concerns regarding the association’s governance, transparency, finances and sporting integrity. 

The IOC raised concerns regarding IBA’s Russian president Umar Kremlev and his ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and IBA’s reliance on funding from Russian state-owned energy giant Gazprom.

The Olympic boxing tournament will proceed as expected at Paris Games this summer, with IOC administering the tournament without the assistance of an amateur boxing’s governing body. The IOC implemented this strategy at Tokyo 2020 where it operated the boxing tournament without the aid of the IBA. 

Despite the stormy history between the IOC and boxing, the IOC wishes to maintain boxing’s spot on the Olympic programme in 2028 due to the sport’s inclusivity amongst its athletes. However, the IOC will only do that with the appointment or creation of a “recognised and reliable” international federation.  

“Because of boxing’s universality and high social inclusivity, the IOC wants it to continue to feature on the Olympic Games programme,” the IOC said in a statement Wednesday.

“Unfortunately, this is far from certain for the Olympic Games LA 2028 because, for governance reasons, the IOC is not in a position to organize another Olympic boxing tournament. To keep boxing on the Olympic programme, the IOC needs a recognised and reliable international federation as a partner, as with all the other Olympic sports.”

The IOC has not set a formal deadline for the appointment of the new international federation, but it suggested early 2025 as a cut-off point for a boxing federation to come forward to become the IOC’s recognised partner. 

“At the moment, boxing is not on the sports programme for the Olympic Games LA28. In order to remedy this, the IOC needs to have a partner International Federation for boxing by early 2025,” the IOC noted.

The leading candidate to become the sport’s new federation partner is the newly-formed World Boxing. World Boxing was launched in 2023 by national associations, such as GB Boxing and USA Boxing, who had become disillusioned with the IBA.

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