IBA out as governing body of Paris 2024 boxing tournament

The IOC Executive Board has expressed their concerns over boxing’s governing body for several years

International Boxing Association (AIBA) President Umar Kremlev attends a news conference ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Lausanne, Switzerland June 28, 2021.  REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
International Boxing Association (AIBA) President Umar Kremlev attends a news conference ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Lausanne, Switzerland June 28, 2021. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

Boxing at the Paris 2024 Summer Olympic Games will not be held under the authority of the International Boxing Association (IBA). The qualifying competitions and Olympic tournament will now be held directly under the auspices of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Recent legal controversy surrounding elections at the IBA, along with the final part of Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren’s report into past corruption and judging irregularities, acted as the final nail in the coffin for the boxing association.

The IOC Executive Board ultimately decided that “enough was enough,” and removed the IBA as governing body of the Paris 2024 Olympic boxing tournament.

IOC Sports Director Kit McConnell stated, “at the end, the IOC Executive Board felt that enough was enough, and in the interests of the athletes, and of the boxing community, the Executive Board of the IOC decided that the boxing qualifying events and the competitions at the Olympic Games Paris 2024 will not be run under the authority of the IBA.”

He explained, “the IOC administration will therefore finalize, on an exceptional basis, alternative models for the organization of these boxing competitions working closely with the organizing committee of Paris 2024, and of course, with athlete representatives.”

Tokyo 2020 Olympics - Boxing - Men's Super Heavyweight - Final - Kokugikan Arena - Tokyo, Japan - August 8, 2021. Bakhodir Jalolov of Uzbekistan in action against Richard Torrez of the United States REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino
Tokyo 2020 Olympics - Boxing - Men's Super Heavyweight - Final - Kokugikan Arena - Tokyo, Japan - August 8, 2021. Bakhodir Jalolov of Uzbekistan in action against Richard Torrez of the United States REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino

Paris 2024 will be the second consecutive Olympic Games the IBA will play no part in organizing. The boxing body was sidelined from Tokyo 2020 after it was suspended by the IOC due to financial, legal, and governance issues.

A Boxing Task Force was created by the IOC to run competitions and qualifications for Tokyo 2020. International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) President Morinari Watanabe headed the task force, which “delivered a clear, fair and transparent pathway for boxers to qualify for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and ensured a fair and just competition, both on the road to Tokyo and at the Games,” according to a statement from the IOC.

It remains unclear if the IOC will take a similar approach to the organization of boxing ahead of the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics.

Another catalyst behind the IOC Executive Board’s decision to remove the IBA from Paris 2024 was the state of athlete qualifications.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics - Boxing - Men's Super Heavyweight - Quarterfinal - KKG - Kokugikan Arena - Tokyo, Japan - August 1, 2021. Mourad Aliev of France refuses to leave ringside after the referee stopped his fight with Frazer Clarke of Britain REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino  REFILE - CORRECTING ID
Tokyo 2020 Olympics - Boxing - Men's Super Heavyweight - Quarterfinal - KKG - Kokugikan Arena - Tokyo, Japan - August 1, 2021. Mourad Aliev of France refuses to leave ringside after the referee stopped his fight with Frazer Clarke of Britain REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino REFILE - CORRECTING ID

A statement from the IOC read, “with regard to the planned IBA qualification pathway to Paris 2024, the IOC EB noted that no host-city agreements had been signed for the qualification competitions and that there was an insufficient number of certified referees and judges to deliver the planned events.”

McConnell noted that the decision taken by the IOC Executive Board was “centered on the athletes themselves.”

No timeline was provided for further decisions about boxing at the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics.