By Dane McGuire
For some time now the International Boxing Association, which handles the sport at the Olympic level, has been at the center of a feud with the Committee (IOC) and is amidst corruption allegations.
The IBA was suspended by the International Olympic Committee in 2019 because of issues related to “governance, its financial transparency and sustainability, and the integrity of its refereeing and judging processes,” according to the IOC, by way of BoxingJunkie.
Per BoxingJunkie, The IBA has not made any changes as of this writing and so the suspension remains in place.
Bloody Elbow reports the IBA has indeed undergone reforms such as “weeding out corrupt officials, improving the scoring system, and elevating their financial standing” but it hasn’t been enough for the IOC.
The outlet also noted the IBA is financially dependent on “Russian oil and gas giant Gazprom, an entity with numerous ties to (Vladimir) Putin.”–edited for clarity. The IBA was pressured after the Russian invasion of Ukraine to cut ties but said it couldn’t entirely do so.
A June 2022 report from Inside The Games notes the sponsorship saved the IBA from “financial collapse”.
Boxing is still set to be a part of the Olympics in 2024. Now officials from major countries including the U.S. are moving forward via the formation of World Boxing instead. It is not yet recognized by the IOC as of yet.
Those involved include the United States, the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Great Britain, New Zealand, and the Philippines. Representatives comprise an interim executive board.
“It is vital that boxing continues to remain at the heart of the Olympic movement and to achieve this we need to re-establish a relationship of trust between those that govern the sport and all of its stakeholders,” said GB Boxing Chief Executive Matthew Holt, according to The Daily Mail.
“World Boxing aims to deliver this by creating a financially transparent organization with strong governance structures that delivers sporting integrity and fair competition and acts in the interest of boxers and the sport.”
As a result of this new formation, the IBA offered its own statement of condemnation.
“There is no other reason of establishing a rogue organization, other than to attempt to destroy the integrity of the International Boxing Association,” the IBA said in a statement. “The IBA strongly condemns the efforts of individuals to damage the significant strides taken by the IBA over the last years to secure boxers the best future possible.
“Ambitions of individuals will never serve as a solid foundation for a successful organization nor the destructive motives that have led to the creation of this rogue organization.”