Aiba president retains power as court defers verdict

Ching-Kuo Wu remains at the helm of the International Boxing Association (Aiba), albeit on a temporary basis, after the world governing body said a Swiss court has rejected requests for urgent provisional measures concerning the governance crisis that has enveloped the organisation.

Measures had been filed by both Wu (pictured) and the so-called Interim Management Committee (IMC), which is seeking to remove the Taiwanese official as Aiba president. The IMC, which was established last month following a vote of no confidence in Wu, is seeking to lead Aiba in the period running up to an extraordinary congress that will be held in the next three months to decide Wu’s fate.

By contrast, Wu has challenged the legality of the constitution of the IMC, and the decisions taken by the latter claiming to exercise the powers of Aiba’s president and executive director. Aiba said that the court has decided that the condition of extreme urgency was not fulfilled. A hearing is scheduled for August 17, at the occasion of which the parties and their legal counsels will be heard. A decision on provisional measures will then be rendered by the court.

Aiba added in a statement: “This decision maintains the status quo and Aiba will therefore keep functioning in full accordance with its statutes, i.e. under the supervision of Aiba president and the management of Aiba executive director.

“In this difficult context, Aiba headquarters are entirely focused on the organisation of the next Aiba World Boxing Championships, which will be held between 25 August and 2 September 2017 in Hamburg and on efficiently serving our 201 affiliated National Federations.”

Wu last month hit out at the “personal agendas and privileges” of certain members of the organisation’s Executive Committee, amid the challenge to his leadership and reports of the perilous financial position of the world governing body.

Earlier, Aiba maintained that its finances are in order amid reports in the Guardian and New York Times that it is facing severe financial difficulties owing to payments claimed by two commercial entities. The UK and US newspapers both made the claims that relate to Azeri company Benkons and Chinese firm First Contract International Trade (FCIT).

Benkons was said to have demanded that Aiba immediately repay a $10m (€8.78m) loan from 2011. Meanwhile, Aiba was also said to have been served documents by FCIT in Hong Kong demanding it pay back an 18.99m Swiss francs (€17.2m/$20.1m) investment into its marketing arm, BMA.

However, Aiba said its Executive Committee unanimously approved audit and financial reports from professional services firm KPMG, and “were pleased” to receive “solid factual and documented elements” showing that Aiba’s alleged responsibility to repay the FCIT investment is “groundless.”

The IMC is since said to have issued a letter to national boxing associations outlining Aiba’s problems. Thirteen of 16 Executive Committee members last month supported a no confidence motion in Wu and the four absent members have reportedly since added to this stance.