IOC threatens to block boxing from Olympics as Aiba dispute escalates

The International Olympic Committee has opened an investigation into Aiba, the International Boxing Association, and could block the sport from participating at the Tokyo 2020 summer Olympic Games due to concerns over the body’s finances and governance.

IOC president Thomas Bach said yesterday that the IOC was “extremely worried” about the administration of the sport.

“The IOC reserves the right to review the inclusion of boxing in the programmes of the Youth Olympics 2018 and Tokyo 2020,” he told reporters, according to the Reuters news agency.

The IOC has already frozen financial contributions for Aiba and has said that those will not be reinstated until a satisfactory outcome is reached.

Bach (pictured), who added that the IOC had not been satisfied with a report prepared by Aiba, added that the IOC would break off communications with figures at the body, “excluding the ones on a working level necessary to implement the respective IOC decisions”.

The IOC has told Aiba to produce a new report by April 30.

Aiba responded by saying it was “extremely disappointed” by the IOC’s stance.

“(We) hoped the IOC Executive Board would have understood that the processes necessary to implement even more measures require more time and that the positive steps already taken in recent times are evidence of Aiba’s strong efforts and willingness to reform,” Aiba said.

“Over the next six months Aiba will be in the process of a complete organisational review, which will lead to the ‘New Foundation Plan’ for Aiba. This plan and the recommendations produced will be discussed during the Aiba Executive Committee meeting in July and an update will be provided to the IOC in the requested April 30 report.”

Last week, Aiba secured an out-of-court settlement to end a legal fight over a critical $10m (€8.2m) loan by one of its biggest creditors to stave off the threat of bankruptcy for the time being. Azeri company Benkons had been seeking repayment of the $10m loan, which dates back to 2011 and relates to the Americas Operation of the World Series of Boxing (WSB).

In November, Ching Kuo Wu was suspended and then stepped down as president following a bitter dispute with his executive committee. Just over a week ago, Gafur Rahimov was installed as the new interim president following the resignation of Franco Falcinelli.