World Boxing Council Starts Olympics Petition -- Federations Focus

(ATR) Professional boxers punch back against IOC warnings with a petition to stay in the Olympics regardless of AIBA troubles.

(ATR) Boxing organizations around the globe are trying to help keep the sport as an Olympic mainstay after the IOC rebuked changes at the sports’ International Federation.

Following a gathering of the world’s boxing leaders in Sochi in February, the World Boxing Council has started an online petition that has already garnered 10,000 signatures asking the IOC not to punish boxing athletes.

"The great sport of boxing embodied, symbolized and championed by its magnificent brave fighters, SHOULD NOT AND MUST NOT suffer the unjust consequences of the chronic, chaotic mismanagement of an international federation," the WBC said in a statement calling for more people to join the petition.

At the IOC Executive Board meeting preceding the PyeongChang 2018 Olympics, president Thomas Bach warned the International Boxing Association that the sport could be subject to review for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympics.

"We are extremely worried about the governance in AIBA," Bach said. "We received a report from the IOC Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer and from the IOC Sports Director which followed the decision that we already took last December to withhold any future financial contributions to AIBA and required some reports about their actions."

IOC sport director Kit McConnell attended AIBA’s extraordinary congress in Dubai where Gafur Rakhimov was appointed to lead the federation in the interim and a number of governance statutes were changed in an attempt to address the IOC’s concerns.

However, AIBA now has until April 30 to provide an updated report to the IOC regarding its efforts to reform the organization since former president and IOC EB member CK Wu was forced to resign in November 2017. If the IOC is not satisfied with further changes, Bach warned of drastic measures.

"We are convinced that the International Olympic Committee will achieve a fair, sensible, reasonable and realistic understanding, reaching a viable solution, in order to satisfactorily resolve the problems that exist between them and AIBA," the WBC said.

The WBC has already collected the support of several famous boxers for the petition, including Sugar Ray Leonard, Lennox Lewis, Vitali Klitschko and Evander Holyfield. All of WBC’s continental associations have also lent the support of their 166 combined countries.

Written by Kevin Nutley

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