NEW DELHI: Boxing’s future in the Olympics has been doubtful for some time now. With the appointment of the controversial Gafur Rakhimov as the president recently, there has been further doubts if the sport, which was first part of the Olympic Games in 1904, will be part of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) had voiced their concerns on Rakhimov taking over the chief role as the Uzbek has been accused of having links to organised crime by the US Treasury department in the past.
Apart from that, some of the other main concerns was general governance and finances. AIBA bigwigs, including the president, who are here for the World Championships said that they have been doing mend its relationship with the IOC and save boxing from suffering a knockout blow from the Olympics.
“It is a concern and we are doing a lot. In the last ten months, being at the helm of AIBA, we have done lots of reforms and improvements. We are going to continue to the best interest of our boxers,” Rakhimov said.
The IOC, which has frozen relations with the AIBA, was running out of patience since a judging scandal at the 2016 Rio Games. Refereeing and judging is something AIBA has handed given first priority in recent times. “First and foremost, the AIBA has taken politics out of choosing referees and judges. Formerly the referees and judges were approved by the president and the executive director. Both of them are removed from the process. The process now takes within the commission,” Tony Virgets, AIBA general director, revealed.
According to the officials, the AIBA is training more referees/judges. “The more trained officials we have in the pool, we have better chances of seeing officials rise to the top,” Virgets said.“We have changed on the curriculum and ensure that the officials can get best training possible. We have also installed an evaluation system whereby instead of evaluating the referees from one tournament to two, we are going to evaluate them for years. This would ensure that there is consistency,” he said.“Next year, we are also planning to bring in protests, whereby boxers/teams can lodge protests if they think the decision is incorrect,” he added.