ATR Extra: Mikayilov Welcomes IOC Scrutiny, Plans to Move Quickly

(ATR) Suleyman Mikayilov of Azerbaijan plans to identify and clear the debts of AIBA within 100 days of being elected.

(ATR) One of the seven candidates for AIBA president vows major changes within his first 100 days.

Suleyman Mikayilov of Azerbaijan plans to identify and clear the debts of the embattled international federation within 100 days of being elected.

The AIBA Ordinary Congress will be held virtually Dec. 12-13 with the election taking place the first day. A new constitution is also on the agenda.

Upon taking office, Mikayilov said he will immediately begin to implement a "comprehensive, independent, expert review" of the the governance structure of AIBA, which has been suspended by the IOC.

He said he will ensure "these reforms are fully compliant with IOC requirements for re-admission to self-governance in time for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games."

The IOC is organizing the boxing competition at the Tokyo Games next year.

"Action, not just words!" Mikayilov said in a statement Friday in reference to the position of the IOC Executive Board on the need for radical reforms.

On Wednesday, the IOC Executive Board "took note that the IOC recommendation to put the AIBA reforms and their implementation first has not been respected to date. For this reason, the IOC will consider the position of AIBA only after seeing that the reforms are being adopted and implemented."

Mikayilov, a member of the AIBA Executive Council, said that in recent conversations with National Federations and other stakeholders he has stressed that he has a practical plan and timeline and that the current reforms do not go far enough.

"I want to confirm to all federations that, should I be elected President, I have a concrete plan and team in place to deliver on our promises."

Mikayilov has written a massive manifesto, titled "Deep Changes for A New Future," which runs a whopping 82 pages on his website. He has also released a four-page executive summary, which is much more manageable for his audience. The seven major sections are: Good Governance, Boxing Integrity, Healthy Finance, Sport and Boxers, Boxing Solidarity, Quality Communication and Marketing Strategy.

Mikayilov said he wants to rebuild AIBA with the highest level of governance reform, adopting a new culture of transparency, democracy, diversity (including gender and racial equality) and integrity.

He would create the United Boxing Alliance (UBA) to provide secure and transparent financial support for the development of boxing across all national federations.

Mikayilov said the UBA would secure 25 million Swiss Francs (about $27 million) from identified sponsors and partners from Azerbaijan and other European countries to create a sustainable AIBA operation for the future.

Mikayilov also pledged the immediate implementation of an "AIBA relief plan" to assist national federations struggling amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

A "Reconciliation Committee" would bring together stakeholders who had differences and conflicts in the past. "It is important to confront issues of the past and move together to a better future," Mikayilov wrote.

Technology, he said, could help AIBA regain trust in results.

Mikayilov, 58, won six national championships in the former Soviet Union and retired in 1983 after being crowned Azeri champion. He said that throughout his career as a boxer he used "a strong counter attacking style in the ring."

He became Vice President of the Azerbaijan Boxing Federation in 2001 and has also been a team official. Mikayilov is a lawyer and former government official.

The other candidates for president are Anas Al Otaiba of United Arab Emirates; Umar Kremlev of Russia; Mohamed Moustahsane, the current leader, of Morocco; Ramie Al-Masri of Germany, Domingo Solano of Dominican Republic and Boris van der Vorst of the Netherlands..

In its remarks on AIBA, the IOC Executive Board said it will also "take into consideration" concerns raised against some of the candidates for president and "their potential impact on recognition." However, no candidates were identified in the press release.

Written by Karen Rosen

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