The unsanctioned International Boxing Association (IBA) governing body has announced that it is offering prize money and title shots to medalists at the upcoming Paris 2024 Olympic Games, despite having been exiled from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF).

Umar Kremlev, the president of the IBA, stated this week that a total prize pot of over $3.1 million will be available for competitors in the 13 main weight categories at the Olympics (the eight men’s and five women’s fields).

Gold medallists will be awarded $100,000, of which the athlete themselves will receive half their national federation, and their coach will each receive $25,000. A silver medal will see an athlete rewarded with $50,000, of which half again is split between the national federation and the coach, and a bronze receives $25,000 – split once again – with competitors as far down as fifth ($10,000) to receive prize money.

Furthermore, Kremlev also revealed that the Olympics will act now as a qualifying round with which competitors can earn the chance to compete for the IBA World Title in their respective weight class.

First appointed as IBA president in 2020, Kremlev stated: “We [at the IBA] pride ourselves on being among the pioneers in rewarding the athletes for their Olympic successes. As IBA President, I will always fight for our athletes’ well-being, and this step is consistent in terms of the existing commitments we have already taken.”

The IOC responded to denounce the IBA's proposal, stating: "As always with the IBA, it is unclear where the money is coming from," with the Olympic organizer adding that a partial reasoning of the original separation between the IOC and the IBA was due to the lack of financial transparency at the IBA and its alleged reliance on funding from Russian energy giant Gazprom

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In its response the IOC also offered an ultimatum to national boxing bodies looking to offer forward comeptitiors to Paris 2024, saying that any boxer who's national body adheres to the IBA will be totally from competing at the Olympics. 

The IBA responded almost immediately, stating that the IOC statement was "heavy-handed" and that it shows a  "disgraceful lack of respect and standards" to the sport of boxing, alleging that "many" national federations have had negative experiences in the lead-up to Paris 2024 with events organized by the IOC. 

The IBA protested its innocence regarding the allegations levied against it by the IOC, and added that the ultimatum is a "double standard and biased declaration, that once again shows the true colours of the International Olympic Committee."

The initial decision todisavow the IBA was made by an Extraordinary IOC Session in June 2023, acting on a recommendation from the IOC executive council that recognition of the IBA be withdrawn, alleging that serious issues around governance, financial affairs, and refereeing and judging have not been satisfactorily addressed.

While the IBA will not organize boxing at the LA 2028 Olympics either, the body’s secretary general and chief executive added to Kremlev’s statement that the IBA is setting the standard among sporting governing bodies, stating; “We are setting a clear example for many on how international federations should be treating their champions. This is real support with real actions, a thing that has become rare in the international sports environment.”

Prize money for Olympic participation has until recently been a non-starter among IOC-recognized bodies but in April World Athletics became the very first, announcing a total prize fund of $2.4 million across its 48 medal events.

 Dating back to the Olympics’ originating as an amateur event, the IOC has never allocated prize money itself to athletes but instead funds the various international federations and national Olympic committees.