(ATR) Promising to "make AIBA great again", Russian boxing leader Umar Kremlev declares he’s a candidate to lead the troubled boxing federation.
Currently secretary general of the Russian Boxing Federation and a member of the AIBA executive board, Kremlev is the fifth to seek election to the post.
Using the technological backbone of news agency Izsvestiya, Kremlev announced his candidacy in a live stream teleconference with nearly three dozen reporters from around the globe as well as journalists at the briefing in Moscow.
Kremlev promised that he would be able to eradicate the $20 million debt said to be hanging over the Federation within six months after the December election. But he failed to specify how such a dramatic shift in fortunes for the boxing body might be accomplished, despite another promise to make AIBA fully transparent. Similarly, Kremlev said that he would reveal plans to generate $50 million in revenue for AIBA in the coming years-- after the election.
"In two years you are going to see the cleanest and most transparent AIBA," said Kremlev.
The IOC has suspended AIBA for an array of issues that include financial, ethical, governance and anti-doping. The federation is barred from organizing the boxing tournament for the Tokyo Olympics and has been cut off from receiving revenue the IOC shares with the IFs.
In the hour-long briefing Kremlev says he waited until the last minute to file to see who the other candidates might be. Kremlev says once the field of contenders took shape he was contacted by some national federations, urging him to run..
"I wanted to see who would be able to save AIBA, to bring it to a high level. I couldn’t see anybody who could dothis task," Kremlev says.
Already making the Nov. 2 deadline are Suleyman Mikayilov from Azerbaijan, Bienvenido Solano from the Dominican Republic, Anas Al Otaiba from the United Arab Emirates and Boris Van der Vorst from the Netherlands.
The files from the candidates will be reviewed by the new election commission, which will decide whether any should be barred from a final list. That list is due Nov. 12.
The election takes place Dec. 12 in a virtual congress.
Kremlev, who talked about payments in the millions to national federations if he is elected, could be skating a fine line with the AIBA rules. The election code prohibits any promise of financial reward by candidates to the national federations.
From Azerbaijan comes word from Mikayilov that he will be using the counsel of UK-based experts on governance issues. He has retained Global Sports Investigations, a joint venture between Quest Global and The Sports Consultancy, "to receive its expertise on integrity and governance during his election campaign and beyond, if he is elected," says a press release. Former UK minister for sport Richard Caborn will lead the work.
The Dominican Republic federation once led by Solano has been asked to explain loans it made to a group of federations in the Caribbean region so that they could pay membership dues to AIBA. Countries which are delinquent will not be allowed to vote in the upcoming election. The federation says the money was not meant to help boost Solano’s campaign.
In another Trumpian moment from his announcement, Kremlev dismissed as "fake news" the controversy over Russian anti-doping. Next week the Court of Arbitration for Sport is supposed to hear the appeal of sanctions from the World Anti-Doping Agency that could keep Russian athletes out of the next two Olympic Games.
Homepage photo: ROC
Written by Ed Hula.