AIBA Launching a Diversity Program -- Federation Focus

(ATR) Also: IWF says nine countries still suspended for doping offenses; ITU loses another 2018 World Cup event.

(ATR) Olympic boxing federation AIBA is launching a CHF 1 million program aimed at individual national governing bodies around the world. The Diversity in Boxing project will be administered by the five continental confederations which will decide which projects to fund.

"I am fully aware that AIBA urgently needs to improve on many fronts, and all AIBA National Federations can rest assured that my colleagues and I are fully committed to achieve this improvement, in every aspect of our organization and our sport. We have many things to do and little time to do it, and that’s when leadership must deliver," says interim AIBA President Gafur Rahimov in a press release announcing the program.

The money for the national federations is meant to be applied to a range of needs. Travel and training for athletes, governance, and initiatives for women boxers are all among the possibilities. National governing bodies will need to apply through the confederations beginning in April.

Weightlifting Says Suspensions Still in Place

The International Weightlifting Federation says no decision has been made about ending suspensions against nine countries in time for them to compete at the Youth Olympic Games this October in Buenos Aires.

Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Moldova, Turkey, and Ukraine are the nine suspended for one year by the IWF for chronic issues with doping. The suspensions are due to end in October after the YOG in Argentina.

IWF Director General Attila Adamfi tells Around the Rings that reports the suspensions could be lifted early are "misleading".

"The nine member federations are suspended and there is no decision on their possible early return," he says.

The question rests with an Independent Monitoring Group formed to review progress in the suspended nations. Adamfi says that group will have the final say, not the IWF executive.

"Such a decision could be made (it is only a possibility, not automatic) by an Independent Monitoring Group (not by the EB) after a certain period of time that is not even over," says Adamfi.

He says the matter is not scheduled for the agenda of the meeting of the federation executive board in Colorado Springs at the end of the month.

More Figure Skating Weeks after the Winter Olympics

The Italian city of Milan is hosting the 2018 World Figure Skating Championships. The event began on Wednesday without two of the sport’s biggest stars.

PyeongChang men’s gold medalist Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan and women’s silver medalist Yevgenia Medvedeva are both out through injury. Medvedeva’s absence paves there way for fellow Russian Alina Zagitova to win the title just like she did a few weeks ago at the Winter Olympics, when she won the gold medal .

The World Skating Championships run through Sunday.

ITU Loses Another World Cup Event

The International Triathlon Union has lost a second World Cup event for this season.

The 2018 ITU Madrid World Cup, due to take place in September, has been canceled due to the cleaning and construction works in the lake where the swim was going to take place.

TheITU says it is currently in talks with other National Federations and local organizers to try to replace this event for another World Cup on the same weekend.

The 2018 ITU World Cup and Paratriathlon World Cup in New Orleans, originally scheduled for April 14-15, was canceled in January.

The second World Cup race of the season will be this weekend in New Plymouth, New Zealand.

In April, the 2018 Commonwealth Games take place in Australia with the women’s sprint race providing the first gold medal event of the entire Games on April 5. The men’s race will follow the same day.

The inaugural paratriathlon and mixed relay events of the Commonwealth Games will take place two days later.

Golf Qualifying for Next Olympic Games

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic golf tournament's qualifying and format will remain the same as for Rio de Janeiro in 2016, according to a memo sent to PGA Tour players cited by the Golf Channel.

The format would again be four rounds of stroke play with 60 men and 60 women taken from the world rankings.

According to the report, the qualifying window to determine the rankings will be July 1, 2018 to June 22, 2020 for men; for women, the window will be between July 8, 2018 and June 29, 2020.

In Rio there were a maximum of two men and two women per country, or up to four of each gender if they are ranked in the top 15.

The former PGA Tour commissioner, Tim Finchem, said after the Rio 2016 experience that he hoped the Olympic golf format would be changed to have more medals awarded.

Shooting Quotas for Tokyo 2020 Approved by IOC

The ISSF says the IOC has approved the latest quota rules for the sport for Tokyo 2020.

The 52nd World Championships in Changwon, South Korea, from Aug. 31 to Sept. 15 will be the start of the qualification timeline for the Tokyo Games.

Forty-eight individual Olympic quotas and 12 mixed team Olympic quotas will be assigned there.

A total of 360 quotas for the 15 Olympic shooting events will be distributed between Sept. 1, 2018 and April 30, 2020.

In addition to the 2018 World Championships, qualifying events include 2019 ISSF World Cup stages and designated Continental Championships or Games in 2018, 2019 and 2020.

Written by Javier Monne

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