Boris van der Vorst’s appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), for not being allowed to stand in the presidential election of the International Boxing Association (IBA), is scheduled for June 10.
Russian incumbent Umar Kremlev was re-elected “unopposed” after van der Vorst, his only challenger, was disqualified to stand a day before the vote in Istanbul two weeks ago.
The Dutch sports official had been challenging Kremlev for the presidency at a pivotal moment for the federation, only to be ruled ineligible by IBA’s Interim Nomination Unit.
He was accused of campaigning outside the electoral period and collaborating with other candidates.
Van der Vorst’s appeal to CAS has been supported by several National Federations.
In addition to van der Vorst, four candidates from the United States, New Zealand, Denmark and Sweden, standing for election to the IBA Board of Directors, were also disqualified.
Mike McAtee, the chief executive of USA Boxing, Steve Hartley, president of Boxing New Zealand, and Per-Axel Sjöholm, head of the Swedish Boxing Federation, have also filed CAS appeals.
“The Candidates again stated they believe in the ongoing legal process and are confident they will ultimately prevail,” van der Vorst, McAtee, Hartley and Sjöholm said in a joint statement.
“Based on CAS rules and advice from their legal team, they are unable to provide any further comments at this time.”
If van der Vorst’s appeal is successful, IBA will have to hold the election again in order to comply with the legal judgement.
The outcome of the CAS appeal could therefore have far-reaching consequences for boxing’s future at the Olympic Games.
IBA is already suspended from organising boxing at the Olympics due to concerns over its governance, financial stability and refereeing and judging.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) had excluded IBA from organising boxing at the Tokyo Games last year.
It is not clear whether IBA will be allowed to organise boxing at the Paris Games in 2024. The IOC recently warned IBA of concerns over the proposed qualifying path for hundreds of boxers.
The sport has already been dropped from the Los Angeles Games in 2028.
IOC President Thomas Bach said last week that the IOC was monitoring the situation at IBA “very closely”.
“We are not amused to see the circumstances of such an election and now the election being challenged in CAS.
“This is not what we imagined as good governance, but we will now have to wait for the respective CAS decision,” Bach told the media at the conclusion of the 139th IOC Session.
“We will not make statements regarding the facts since this is a pending procedure in front of CAS and we hope that this decision will come soon and then we will have more clarity.
“Having said this, many of the other concerns are still there. This is the financial dependency on a state-owned company,” Bach pointed out.
Under Kremlev, IBA has inked a controversial sponsorship agreement with Russian energy firm Gazprom, as well as spending millions on ‘communication’ and ‘marketing expenses’.
Van der Vorst has promised to move IBA in a different direction. In his manifesto, he said he will repair IBA’s ties with the IOC, and thereby ensure that boxing returns in Paris 2024 and in LA 2028.