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IOC to discuss boxing’s Olympic future

The International Olympic Committee is to meet this week to discuss the future of boxing ahead of the 2020 summer Olympic Games in Tokyo.

The IOC is holding a two-day meeting in Tokyo and the governance of the International Boxing Association (Aiba) is expected to be one of the main topics of discussion.

A judging scandal at the Rio 2016 Games led to the suspension of all 36 of boxing’s officials and referees and other issues relating to finance, anti-doping and recently-elected president Gafur Rakhimov have meant that boxing has yet to guarantee its place on the Tokyo 2020 programme.

The IOC has demanded substantial reform, with president Thomas Bach stating earlier this year that a report handed to the organisation in April “still lacks execution and substance in some areas”, adding that the IOC “retains the right to exclude boxing from Tokyo 2020”.

Rakhimov, an Uzbek businessman who has been accused of links to organised crime, earlier this month offered an “olive branch” to the IOC after securing the Aiba presidency on a full-time basis, however his appointment is set to cast further doubt over the body’s position within the Olympic Movement.

Speaking at a press conference following the vote earlier this month, Rakhimov claimed Aiba had made progress at addressing the IOC’s concerns under his leadership, adding that it is ready to make further changes.

Rakhimov’s name is on a US Treasury Department sanctions list for alleged links to international heroin trafficking. The sanctions prevent US citizens and companies from conducting business with him. He has denied wrongdoing.

“The truth is that I, of course, have never been involved in transnational criminal organisations,” Rakhimov told the AFP news agency.