Netherlands' van der Vorst to run for AIBA presidency
Boris van der Vorst, head of the Dutch Boxing Federation, has announced he will stand for the presidency of AIBA, the international boxing association, in December.
The Dutchman, who is chairman of the European Boxing Confederation’s Passion for Boxing Commissions, is the fourth official to publically announce his candidacy for the top job.
The other confirmed candidates for the presidential election are Anas Al Otaiba of the UAE, Suyleyman Mikayilov of Azerbaijan and Domingo Solano of the Dominican Republic, although the influential Umar Kremlev of Russia is also expected to stand.
All members must submit their candidacies prior to the 2 November deadline.
The election is scheduled to be held virtually during the AIBA Extraordinary Congress on 12 and 13 December and the outcome is considered vital if the troubled federation is to overturn a suspension by the International Olympic Committee and organise major events in 2021.
The beleaguered boxing association has been without a permanent president for 18 months after Gafur Rakhimov stood down in March 2019 following allegations that he was involved in criminal activities.
The organisation has since been led on an interim basis by Morocco’s Mohamed Moustahsane.
Last year, the IOC suspended AIBA, stripping the body of any involvement in the boxing tournament at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, now rescheduled for 2021, due to concerns over its governance, finances, refereeing and judging.
AIBA has responded with plans for new reforms and statues, which are set to be approved at the congress.
Van der Vorst launched his campaign for the top job at the organisation in a letter to AIBA’s national federations.
He said: “For far too long, we have been told that our leadership is working extremely hard to resolve these issues, that reforms are on the way that AIBA’s debts will soon disappear. Now, more than a year after the release of the damning Inquiry Committee report, the IOC continues to be ‘very worried’ about the lack of progress.
“It is time for a complete change of leadership, financial management and culture within our sport. Those responsible for the current situation cannot lead AIBA back into the family of trusted international federations.
“My mission is to speak with honesty to the world boxing family and to set the direction for a detailed plan, which will ensure a clean break and a relaunch for our sport. This requires open dialogue, thorough analysis and tough decisions.
“We have no time to waste to change course. As your president, I will do whatever it takes to ensure that AIBA regains its status as an IOC-recognised International Federation.”
The IOC earlier this month said it was “very worried” with the progress made by AIBA with its governance reforms. AIBA has since insisted “real change” has been made, with Moustahsane calling on the IOC to support its reform process.