The embattled International Boxing Association (IBA) governing body has announced the barring of USA Boxing teams and athletes from official IBA events, following the national federation’s resignation from IBA membership.
USA Boxing announced earlier this week (April 26) that it had resigned from the IBA with immediate effect and would instead be joining the breakaway World Boxing body that was launched in Switzerland earlier this month.
The USA Boxing move came as an immediate reaction to the formal complaint the IBA filed against World Boxing, decrying the latter body as a rogue organization.
Now, the IBA has said that all boxers, officials, and coaches affiliated with USA Boxing are automatically banned from involvement in IBA competitions.
In a statement, the beleaguered governing body said: "Not only did the USA Boxing's decision hurt all their affiliates who will now not be able to take part in IBA’s or affiliated member competitions, but it also deprives the boxing community as a whole from competing together and increasing the level of the talent within the boxing family.
"The IBA remains committed to protecting the organization and its member national federations from any harm caused by individuals or entities within or outside of the IBA boxing family.”
World Boxing was unveiled to the world on April 13 as a body set up in an attempt to secure the sport’s future in the Olympics. It is currently not on the program for the Los Angeles 2028 games – as the row between the IBA and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) rumbles on.
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.
In his letter announcing the national federation’s decision, he said: “USA Boxing is committed to working tirelessly with World Boxing, like-minded national federations, and worldwide Olympic-style boxing community to earn the privilege to be part of the Olympic movement now and in the years to come.”
That complaint has been filed with the Boxing Independent Integrity Unit (BIIU), and takes issue with “individuals and entities involved in the creation of a rogue boxing organization.”
In a statement at that point, the IBA said it had “initiated a series of actions that are designed to provide absolute clarity to all boxing stakeholders regarding the autonomy of the IBA as the global governing body of boxing.”
The IBA has been banned by the IOC since 2019 because of issues across a range of areas, most notably its internal governance and its financial affairs. It is heavily reliant on sponsorship funding from Gazprom, the energy giant backed by the Russian state, and Russia’s Umar Kremlev is its president.
As a result of wrangling between the IOC and the IBA which has been going on for a number of years, boxing had its Tokyo 2020 Olympic events run by the IOC in Japan two years ago, with the same situation in line for Paris 2024.
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.”