Corruption charges and contested elections: The fight to save Olympic boxing

Suspicions of corruption in Olympic boxing have been around for decades, including allegations that the matches were disbanded at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games. Now, continuing accusations of mismanagement within its board may dislodge the sport from the Olympics.

Boxing is not on the IOC’s preliminary program for the Los Angeles 2028 Games, and while the sport’s status could be restored next year, concerns about its leadership make that far from certain. Some see the results of the IBF’s presidential vote this weekend as perhaps the sport’s last chance to remain in the Olympics beyond 2024. Russian incumbent Omar Krimlev faces Dutch competitor Boris van der Furst in an election, the International Olympic Committee said in a recent speech. To Kremlev “Comprehensive evaluation”.

“For me, the deadline for boxing depends on the outcome of this election due to the failures of the current leadership,” said Mike McCute, CEO of American Boxing.

In the wake of the Rio scandal, the International Olympic Committee temporarily took control of the sport in 2018, creating a boxing task force to manage competition at the Tokyo Olympics. Meanwhile, Krimlev was elected president of the association in 2020 and gave assurances that he would oversee reform in the organization, appointing Canadian law professor Richard McClaren, who investigated Russia’s state-sponsored doping program at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, to investigate Rio’s allegations. The McLaren report, released a year ago, detailed several cases of bribery and fraud.

But Kremlev’s other actions raised eyebrows. He moved much of the organization’s operations from Lausanne, Switzerland, to Russia, where he thanked President Vladimir Putin for his support of the country’s boxing program. He spent so much on marketing that he seemed to be promoting himself. He resisted calls for an outside organization to deal with the appointment of judges and referees at events.

The IOC also expressed concern that under Kremlev, the body’s sole sponsor is the Russian energy company Gazprom, which supported the Russian invasion of Ukraine and “depends” on a Russian-owned bank branch in Switzerland, whose operations have been restricted by sanctions.

In a response to the IOC, the International Bar Association said it was “confident that it has implemented the vast majority of recommended reforms”, defended the centralization of personnel in Russia for “continued smooth work moving forward” and noted that it had “worked very hard” to train officials .

A separate email from an IBA spokesperson stated that the association is “financially stable and has no financial issues yet,” adding that it “will announce two new sponsors in the foreseeable future.” The email also addressed the IOC’s concerns about refereeing and officiating at the recent Commonwealth Games, citing an as-yet-unpublished report from McLaren calling it a “successful and unproblematic championship”.

Adding to the plot, Sunday’s vote will be the second in six months. Kremlev and van der Forest were supposed to meet in May, but on the eve of the vote, the IBA ethics committee disqualified van der Forest for “early campaigning”. Over the summer, the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled in Van der Forest’s favor, and it forced a new election. By then, the International Olympic Committee announced that it would take over boxing at the 2024 Paris Olympics as it did in Tokyo last year.

No matter how frustrated IOC executives are, they are reluctant to give up boxing because it is one of the most ethnically diverse sports in the Olympics, with fighters coming from all kinds of backgrounds, unlike many of the more specialized games. A sport that tends to attract athletes from wealthy families who can afford the exorbitant training costs.

The addition of female fighters in 2012 helped make boxing one of the most unusual areas of competition in the Olympics. With many fighters coming from underprivileged communities where boxing gyms provide brown boxes for children who might otherwise have nothing, the IOC does not want to withdraw an important source of funding for amateur fighting.

In its letter to Kremlev, the IOC noted a “lack of real development” in IBA management and said the Executive Board was “not in a position to reverse” its decision to leave boxing outside the Los Angeles program “and will continue to monitor with grave concerns about IBA governance”.

In addition to boxing, the IOC has also left weightlifting (plagued by reports of a doping culture) and modern pentathlon (which is undergoing an overhaul to replace horse jumping as a discipline) from the initial Los Angeles program. These sports are given a chance to get them back, but they will compete with karate, lacrosse, cricket, etc. to be included.

The IOC’s executive board will vote in the fall of 2023, but recommendations are expected in the next few months. The tone of the IOC’s rhetoric worries Makati.

If you are looking at all [other sports the IOC can choose instead of boxing]How many times [IOC President] Thomas Bach and all of them will go, “Why are we still dealing with boxing?” ” He said.

Many boxers fear that once boxing is out of the Olympics, it will never come back again, removing an event that had been part of the ancient Greek Olympics and had been in every but one Summer Games since 1904, while also ruling out an event that had been part of the Olympics. Ancient Greek Olympic Games. An important source of income for amateur boxing organizations.

“This will be the end [Olympic] Van der Forest said in an email. “I can’t even think of giving up and letting the Olympic dream of boxers be destroyed.”

He later added, “This is more than just a race between me and Omar – it’s a real battle for the Olympic future of our ancient and beautiful sport.”

#Corruption #charges #contested #elections #fight #save #Olympic #boxing

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.