The IOC (International Olympic Committee) raised this Thursday (22) the possibility of the boxing be excluded from the 2024 Paris Games. According to the entity, the world body of the category, led by Russia, showed that it “has no real interest” in the sport or its athletes.
The International Boxing Association (IBA) has been withdrawn from organizing the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and boxing not in the initial program for the Los Angeles Games in 2028.
Ranking for the tournament boxing of Paris-2024 is being organized by the IOC, but the committee said it had concerns for the IBA, and that this was likely to lead to decisions that “could include canceling boxing for the Paris 2024 Olympics”.
An IOC spokesman said: “The recent IBA Congress has shown once again that the IBA has no real interest in the sport of boxing and boxers, but is only interested in its own power.”
“The decisions and discussions to keep the boxers away from olympic qualifiers and the Olympic Games cannot be understood differently.”
The IBA is led by Russian Umar Kremlev with the support of Russian energy company Gazprom. The IOC spokesman said the association, by extending its agreement with Gazprom recently, showed it “was unwilling to understand the real problems”.
“The contract extension with Gazprom as the sole title sponsor of the IBA reinforces the concerns that the IOC has repeatedly expressed since 2019,” added the spokesperson.
“This announcement confirms that the IBA will continue to rely on a company largely controlled by the Russian government.”
An extraordinary association congress in September voted against holding a new election, allowing Kremlev to remain as president, following a ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport that Dutch candidate Boris van der Vorst was unfairly barred from running.
The spokesperson said the IOC’s concerns included the handling of the CAS decision.
“The IOC will have to take all of this into account when making further decisions, which could – following these latest developments – include canceling boxing for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.”
The IBA responded on Friday (23) with a message to what the organization called the boxing family, saying it will continue to fight so that its athletes can compete in the Olympics.
“It is clear that the persecution of IBA athletes will continue until final control of boxing and its leadership is achieved,” it said in a statement.
“Discrimination against you, IBA leadership and partners on the basis of citizenship directly contradicts the Olympic Charter and only reinforces that athletes and sport are manipulated for geopolitical ends.”
“That said, with the threat of boxing being removed from the Paris-2024 programme, the IBA will continue to look to senior IOC leadership to work towards reducing this current development and with a view to Los Angeles-2028.”
Earlier this month, the IBA accused Olympic organizers of “harassment” in response to its suspension over governance and financial concerns.