IOC banishes boxing governing body from Olympics; sport will still be at the Paris Games

The International Olympic Committee's decision brings an end to the four-year dispute between the Olympic body and the International Boxing Association.
Image used for representational purpose only. (File Photo)
Image used for representational purpose only. (File Photo)

LAUSANNE (SWITZERLAND): The International Boxing Association was banished from the Olympic family on Thursday, ending a years-long dispute fueled by defying advice and instructions from the IOC.

Boxing, however, will keep its status as an Olympic sport at the 2024 Paris Games. 

The International Olympic Committee voted to derecognize the IBA at a specially called meeting, an outcome that was inevitable after being recommended two weeks ago by the executive board, a body chaired by IOC president Thomas Bach. 

The vote was 69-1, with 10 members abstaining. 

Boxing was never really in danger of being kicked out of the Olympics over the four years since the IOC suspended the sport's governing body in an effort to force changes. 

"We highly value the sport of boxing. We have an extremely serious problem with IBA because of their governance," Bach told IOC members during their online meeting. 

The dispute centred on the IBA's management under presidents from Uzbekistan and Russia which the IOC disapproved of, its finances being backed by Russian state energy firm Gazprom, plus the integrity of bouts and judging. 

"The boxers fully deserve to be governed by an international federation with integrity and transparency," Bach said. 

The IOC is already overseeing boxing competitions for the Paris Olympics without IBA involvement, as it did for the Tokyo Games in 2021. 

Boxing can now be confirmed on the 2028 Los Angeles Olympic program, which the IOC and Bach withheld as leverage against IBA. 

The sport is good for the Olympic business with broad appeal. 25 different countries won boxing medals in Tokyo, with nine taking gold and the IOC repeatedly said that its problem was with boxing officials, not its athletes. 

"We appreciate boxing as one of the most global sports. We embrace the values of boxing," Bach said, praising the sport's "important social role promoting inclusion."

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The New Indian Express