IOC still tapping on Aiba aid despite their suspension status

The International Olympic Committee is racing to organise a series of continental qualifiers in early 2020 while also preparing for the Tokyo 2020 games, and revealed they are still working with boxing’s suspended international federation Aiba, despite issues surrounding its finances and governance.

IOC sports director Kit McConnell told Reuters on Wednesday: “Lots is still going on. Aiba has been very supportive when needed on information we sought, such as refereeing, judging, technical and rules. We have to recognise Aiba staffing has been reduced significantly, but when we have gone to them they have been supportive.”

Aiba largely depends on Olympic funding to run between Games and have been cutting staff after the IOC suspended the federation in June, and took over managing the boxing qualification and competition for the Tokyo Games.

The boxing body has had issues with finances and governance, with the federation $16m in debt, and has endured leadership battles internally over its presidency in recent years.

According to the IOC, the assistance rendered by Aiba does not mean any change in their suspension status, and the IOC has no plans for a review until after the Tokyo Olympics.

McConnell said: “Aiba has engaged with us and provided information but lets be clear about this: the Tokyo Olympics qualification events are done through the IOC, and by the IOC.”

There will be four regional qualifiers (Africa, Europe, Asia/Oceania and Americas) to be staged between January and April next year, and Japan, as hosts, will also have direct qualification for four male and two female boxers.

McConnell also previously said in June: “To allow athletes a second chance to qualify for Tokyo we will have a final Olympic qualifying event, probably in May next year.”