An increasingly desperate Russian incumbent Umar Kremlev is facing an existential election at the International Boxing Association (IBA) on Sunday. He has therefore resorted to scrambling for every vote.
The Ukraine National Federation – presumably not keen on voting for a Russian candidate – has now been ‘suspended’ by Kremlev’s rubberstamp IBA Board of Directors.
The Board claimed “government interference” for its arbitrary decision on Friday to deny the vote to a National Federation.
It is possible that these Directors are somehow not aware that Kremlev himself is seen as pro-Kremlin. Perhaps they also have not noticed the millions pumped into IBA by Russian state energy giant Gazprom. Is that not “government interference” as well?
How else can you explain this biased political decision taken by the Board of Directors, when there are clearly bigger challenges facing IBA?
The fact that the sports body has been stripped from organising boxing at the Paris Olympics – for the second Olympics in a row – and that the sport itself will not feature in Los Angeles 2028. These surely should be of greatest importance to the Board of Directors if it really was concerned about the sport of boxing.
Instead, we have the humiliating sight of the IBA Directors playing fiddle to a Russian sports functionary trying every trick of the book to stay in power.
If in the Istanbul election in May, his challenger Boris van der Vorst was illegally disqualified, now in the repeat election on Sunday, they are trying to stamp out the growing support for the Dutchman.
The rot at IBA has gone on for far too long. Kremlev has made boxing a laughing stock in the eyes of the sporting world.
National Federations, our noble sport can only be restored to the Olympic Games if Kremlev and his coterie are removed from IBA immediately.
It is now over to you to vote. Vote decisively.