The IOC withdrew recognition from IBA and confirmed boxing in Paris 2024

The International Boxing Association ceased to belong to the Olympic movement in a historic decision taken by the International Olympic Committee which, in addition to confirming it in Paris, gave the go-ahead for the sport to continue on the program in Los Angeles 2028. “We have an extremely serious problem with the IBA,” said Thomas Bach.

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The IOC withdrew recognition from the IBA with 69 votes in favor, one against and 10 abstentions Credit Greg Martin IOC
The IOC withdrew recognition from the IBA with 69 votes in favor, one against and 10 abstentions Credit Greg Martin IOC

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) confirmed that the International Boxing Association (IBA) is no longer part of the Olympic movement and, in addition, ratified the sport as part of the Paris 2024 program.

The IOC Board of Directors had recommended the removal of recognition after making a report in which it stated that IBA had not met the “necessary conditions” to lift the suspension imposed in 2019.

“Despite the various opportunities that were given to it, including the roadmap from 2021 to 2023 to address the various concerns with a real and effective evolution, the IBA could not provide the elements that would have allowed the lifting of its suspension,” highlighted the 24-page report and, finally, during the 140th session, the IOC resolved that the International Boxing Association will no longer be part of the Olympic movement.

“We have an extremely serious problem with the IBA because of its government (the president is the Russian Umar Kremlev),” said Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee, during the Special Session.

The historic vote in which recognition was removed from the IBA ended with 69 votes in favor and one against, while 10 of the members of the IOC decided to abstain.

“We don’t have any problems with the sport, we don’t have any problems with boxers. If we had a problem with boxers, then there would not have been an Olympic competition in Tokyo and there would be no competition in Paris,” said Bach and noted: “Because we value the sport of boxing so much, we believe that boxers deserve to be governed by an international federation with integrity and transparency.”

President Thomas Bach during the 140th Session of the International Olympic Committee
President Thomas Bach during the 140th Session of the International Olympic Committee

For his part, Christophe De Kepper, general director of the International Olympic Committee, acknowledged that the situation “reached the point of no return” and stated that “the IBA did not effectively implement the principle of good governance in its practice and activities”.

The funding of the International Association is one of the central points and although De Kepper said that “it has been observed that the IBA reduced its indebtedness,” the leader explained that “its ability to continue operating during the period after June 30, 2023 seems to be conditioned on finding new sustainable sources of income.”

“It is understood that IBA’s sources of revenue came mainly from the previous contract with Gazprom (Russian gas company) and, until now, no new sources of revenue have been demonstrated through new contracts signed... The absence of sustainable funding and the dependence on a former state sponsor has not been remedied, demonstrating that the IBA did not repair its culture of financial governance,” De Kepper explained.

The IOC organized the qualifiers for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and the same will happen for Paris 2024
The IOC organized the qualifiers for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and the same will happen for Paris 2024

In 2019, the IOC suspended the IBA due to financial irregularities and the investigation into manipulated fights at the Rio 2016 Games. In this context, it also took away the possibility of organizing the qualifying tournaments for the Tokyo 2020 and Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

Despite this situation, IBA decided to organize its own classification for Paris, ignoring the IOC and generating a new source of conflict.

“The IBA could not provide the elements to allow the lifting of its suspension. The situation is so serious that the only conclusion provided is to withdraw recognition,” said De Kepper.

With no IBA on the way, the International Olympic Committee guaranteed that boxing will be present next year in the French capital and everything suggests that it will also remain in the Los Angeles 2028 program under the orbit of the IOC beyond World Boxing, the new federation that was created to keep the sport in the Olympic movement.