Kremlev resurrects Aiba funding offer

Umar Kremlev, a member of the International Boxing Association’s (Aiba’s) executive committee, has again offered to clear the body’s debts in a move that he feels would protect the interests of athletes and coaches.

In March, Kremlev made his initial offer to write off Aiba’s $16m (€14.4m) debt if the sport was guaranteed a place at next year’s summer Olympic Games in Tokyo.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) last week opted to retain boxing’s place at Tokyo 2020 but recommended that Aiba be suspended after stating that “serious governance issues” remain within the organisation.

The recommendation of the IOC Executive Board came after an Inquiry Committee that was formed in November delivered its verdict on Aiba, stating there had been a lack of satisfactory progress in the areas of finance, governance, ethics and refereeing and judging. These concerns were first raised in 2017.

The EB’s recommendation will be put to the IOC Session, which gathers in Lausanne from June 24-26. The IOC is set to effectively take the organisation of Tokyo 2020 boxing in-house and a special taskforce has been created to ensure the delivery of competitions at the Games.

Kremlev, who is also secretary general of the Russian Boxing Federation, has now repeated his offer to clear Aiba’s debts and has insisted that his goal is not to become the head of the body, but to help “reanimate” the organisation.

“Although the current leadership of Aiba for unknown reasons refused my proposal to close debts…it still remains in force,” Kremlev said in a statement reported by the Reuters news agency.

“I’m ready to help in the shortest possible time to pay off debts. For this, a special fund will be created in which people, individuals and legal entities who are not indifferent to boxing, will attract funds, including me.

“Our goal is to protect the interests of boxers and coaches, to preserve the main organisation that has been managing our sport for more than 70 years. For this you need to do real things, putting boxing above any personal interests.”