On Saturday in Istanbul, Turkey the International Boxing Association (IBA) reelected Umar Kremlev as their president by acclamation.
Kremlev’s only opposition, Dutchman Boris van der Vorst, was deemed ineligible for the election by the Interim Nomination Unit of the Boxing Independent Integrity Unit late last week. Van der Vorst, along with four other candidates for the Board of Directors, were declared ineligible due to “prohibited collaboration and campaigning” according to a statement from the IBA.
The IBA and the sport of boxing are on thin ice with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Kremlev’s reelection over the weekend appears to have nothing to help the IBA’s image with the IOC.
“The events surrounding IBA’s general assembly, in particular the elections, merit careful analysis and are just reinforcing the questions and doubts about IBA’s governance,” said the IOC in a statement.
The IOC has expressed concerns for many years about boxing’s integrity and governance, stemming in part from reports of improper judging at the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Summer Olympics. The sport is currently not included in the LA28 Olympic Program.
Kremlev was elected IBA president in 2020 and says he’s the right person to lead the IBA back into the IOC’s favor, however his recent support of Russian president Vladimir Putin and dependance on Russia’s state-owned energy company Gazprom as a sponsor, continues to raise more questions than answers for the IOC.
“The various IOC concerns, including the financial dependency on Gazprom, are still not resolved,” said the IOC. The IOC sent the IBA a strongly-worded letter last week reminding them they are not on the LA28 Olympic Program and have questions about their qualification status for Paris 2024.