Global Athlete calls on both IOC and AIBA to ensure boxers can compete in Tokyo
Global Athlete’s intervention came as AIBA once again hit out at the IOC over the issue, warning that it could take legal action if there are moves to strip it of the right to organise the boxing competition at the Olympics, and accusing the IOC of breaching its own charter.
In a statement, AIBA told AFP that it will “defend its legitimate right” to organise the competition and added that it “will review all of its options, including legal, given that the IOC has breached the Olympic Charter.”
Tom Virgets, the boxing federation’s executive director, added: “We believe as an organisation that we have done everything that has been asked by the IOC.
“Every single document asked, we produced, every single requirement we have met, including our president self-suspending, the same manner as IOC members self-suspend when they have problems.”
Thomas Bach, the IOC president, said at the weekend that the IOC is prepared to take over the organisation of qualification and the Olympic boxing competition itself, claiming that: “Organizing a sports event is also not rocket science…”
However, Virgets deplored the statement, saying: “We're very concerned about it. We have concerns about it mostly for the athletes and for the programs.
“We’re in the best position to ensure a good quality games. I think Mr Bach’s statement... is disappointing because I think we play a much more important role.”
Virgets concluded: “If the IOC will talk to me, we can find a win-win solution, if that is legitimately what we’re trying to find. And I think that's the only way to resolve this issue because right now the IOC doesn't trust what AIBA is doing [and] we don't trust what they’re doing.
“We need to come together and have conversation.”Following a meeting of its executive board last month, the IOC said that, after conducting a probe of AIBA, it will file a full report at a subsequent meeting on 22 May.