(ATR) The former vice president of the International Boxing Association AIBA, Bienvenido Solano of the Dominican Republic, is the second candidate in the race for the presidency of that body.
Solano wrote a letter to the 145 AIBA National Federations confirming his intentions. He says his main objective is to restore the image and credibility of that federation to which the IOC has withdrawn its recognition since 2019
Due to this suspension, Solano tells Around The Rings, he has told the IOC to restore its confidence in AIBA and to once again distribute the Olympic Solidarity funds currently suspended. He says the national federations have also been affected badly by the Covid pandemic, calling their situation "very unfortunate."
"In addition, boxing also runs the risk of not being able to participate in the Pan American or Central American Games," he said.
The 71-year-old veteran sports leader acknowledged that this contest "is extremely tough" because he will face a worldwide campaign for votes.
"But we decided to try," he said.
"We are confident in our trajectory... The most critical moments for AIBA have been now and I was no longer there," said the Latin American boxing leader.
Solano was a member of the AIBA Executive Committee from 1982 to 1999 and was one of its Vice Presidents from 1999 to 2014.
Solano assures that his main strength is his 32 years of service at AIBA in which "I was never involved in any kind of problems."
"This is what I offer: bring transparency and honesty to AIBA," he said.
After being postponed twice due to the coronavirus pandemic, the AIBA Congress, which includes elections for a new president, could be held on the new scheduled datesof December 12 and 13, 2020 but in a virtual setting.
Budapest had been chosen as the venue for the forum.
Solano said that he decided to enroll in this race at the request of several National Federations, which he declined to identify.
"They are basically from America," he said. "But I think we have support possibilities throughout the world."
The former Vice President of AIBA believes that winning the presidency will take between 75 and 80 votes.
Considers that the elections to be "virtual" will need a series of mechanisms "to have confidence" in the vote.
"I trust that AIBA has the tools to do this," he says. The IOC could also help with its modern means and platforms for reliable elections, " he added.
Solano does not rule out establishing working relationships with the main professional boxing organizations to win the elections.
"Anything that is for the benefit of Olympic boxing we could value," he said.
He added that AIBA has to generate revenue from its its tournaments that allow it to pay off accumulated debts. He says establishing an efficient marketing company will help the finances.
The other candidate in the race so far is a former top boxer for Azerbaijan. Now a lawyer and high-ranking official in the government, Suleyman Mikhayilov 58, was the first candidate to announce his aspirations.
Last January, in Panama, the general secretary of the Russian Boxing Federation, Umar Kremlev told ATR that if he found support among the national federations he would consider the possibility of running for the presidency of AIBA.
The deadline for AIBA to inform the national federations as to the elections will come in the next week. Those national bodies are said to be largely in favor of holding the meeting virtually rather than dealing with the hardships of travel under corona precautions.
Reported by Miguel Hernandez.