The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has confirmed its withdrawal of membership from the International Boxing Association (IBA) governing body.
This decision was made by an Extraordinary IOC Session which met earlier today (June 22) and is based on the recommendation of the IOC’s executive council from June 7.
That recommendation in turn is based on a lengthy report by the IOC which went into detail on all aspects of the relationship between the two bodies in recent years.
As a consequence of the IBA’s removal – which could bring an end to a saga that has engulfed boxing for the last few years – the IOC has decided that the IBA will not organize the sport's events at the 2028 Los Angeles Olympic Games.
After the IBA’s original suspension (when under the guise of AIBA) in June 2019, the IOC took care of the boxing bouts at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and will do the same at the 2024 games in Paris.
The IOC set out a series of requests in December 2021 in terms of conditions under which the suspension would be lifted – the IBA has “failed to fulfill” these conditions.
The IOC has said that while there was sufficient evidence in 2019 to fully withdraw the IBA’s recognition, a second chance was issued to the body – on the proviso that it made material changes to multiple aspects of its affairs by this year. The IOC has now concluded this has not taken place.
In its report, the Olympic body concluded that “despite the various chances given to the IBA … [It] was unable to provide the elements which would have allowed the lifting of its suspension.
“The situation has become so serious that the only proportional conclusion is to withdraw the IOC’s recognition of IBA pursuant to the Olympic Charter.”
The report specifically recommended that “the IBA should not organize the Olympic Games LA28 boxing tournament,” claiming that serious issues around governance, financial affairs, and refereeing and judging have not been satisfactorily addressed.
In response, the IBA called the IOC’s move “truly abhorrent and purely political,” and said soon after that it would submit an appeal to the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration, which was registered late last week. That appeal, to stay the IOC’s withdrawal decision, was rejected yesterday (June 21).
However, there is now a new opportunity to appeal.
The IOC’s move to withdraw membership from the IBA has seen the relationship between the two bodies plumb new depths.
In a statement made earlier this week, the IOC moved to condemn “the violent and threatening language” used by the IBA president, Russia’s Umar Kremlev, during a continental forum of the American Boxing Confederation in Brazil.