The beleaguered International Boxing Association (IBA) governing body has formally opened disciplinary proceedings against both the rebel World Boxing organization and various national federations to have joined it.
The IBA has confirmed the opening of proceedings against the national boxing federations from Germany, New Zealand, Sweden, and the Netherlands because of their participation in the World Boxing initiative launched in mid-April.
World Boxing’s organizers have said the body has been created in order to save boxing as an Olympic event, with the sport currently not set to feature at the Los Angeles 2028 games. The IBA and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have had an extremely rocky relationship in recent years, and the latter body is handling all boxing events in Paris 2024.
World Boxing is currently led by an interim executive board, comprising representatives from the UK, the US, Germany, the Netherlands, the Philippines, and Sweden.
The IBA said, following a meeting on May 13: “A complaint against individuals affiliated to the national federations has been submitted to the Boxing Independent Integrity Unit [BIIU] due to their participation in the governing body of so-called rogue World Boxing organization.”
It added that a separate set of proceedings has been opened against the aforementioned national federations “due to an alleged serious breach of the IBA constitution.”
So far, USA Boxing is the only national federation to officially terminate its IBA membership. The IBA, therefore, officially banned USA Boxing members from involvement in its events late last month.
Mike McAtee, chief executive of USA Boxing, is one of the advisors to World Boxing, which is now applying to the IOC for membership and intends to launch inaugural events in 2024 or 2025.
The IBA filed a complaint with the BIIU against the new entity on April 26.
The IOC has taken issue with multiple aspects of the IBA’s affairs in recent years, most notably its internal governance, its financial dependence on Russian energy giant Gazprom (although the boxing body has said that tie-up is now concluded), and its stance on the Russian invasion of Ukraine (the IBA has now permitted Russian boxers to take part in its competitions under their own flag).
In December, the IOC said the IBA would continue to be shut out of future Olympic programs until it implements a “drastic change of culture.”
Last week, however, the IBA sent a 400-page report to the IOC detailing alleged improvements made to the IBA’s governance over the last two years.
The boxing body has also established an ad hoc communication committee to establish a better channel of communication with the Olympic authorities.
Umar Kremlev, the IBA’s Russian president, has now said: “From IBA’s side, we did our utmost to inform the IOC about all strides towards the implementation of their recommendations and beyond it.”
Meanwhile, the IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships next year have been allocated to Astana, Kazakhstan.
The event will take place at the Barys Arena in the Kazakhstan capital.
Kremlev commented: “I am happy that such a powerhouse in boxing like Kazakhstan is to host one of the biggest IBA tournaments. The competition has already taken place in Astana in 2016, and now comes back in a more powerful way, as we double prize money for women.”