IOC to safeguard boxing at Tokyo Olympics - but suspend governing body

The International Olympic Committee announced the safeguarding of boxing at next year's Tokyo Games but its executive board has recommended the suspension of the International Boxing Association.

AIBA, the governing body which presides over amateur boxing, has been banned from helping to organise the sport's participation in the Japanese capital following an inquiry committee report.

A task force chaired by International Gymnastics Federation President Morinari Watanabe will instead "ensure the delivery" of boxing's involvement in the Olympics, including qualifying competitions to run from next January to May.

IOC president Thomas Bach said in a statement on www.olympic.org: "Today's decision was taken in the interest of the athletes and the sport of boxing.

"We want to ensure that the athletes can live their dream and participate in the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 while drawing the necessary consequences for AIBA following the recommendations of the Inquiry Committee.

"At the same time, we offer a pathway back to lifting the suspension, but there needs to be further fundamental change."

Formed in 1946, AIBA has come under increasing scrutiny in recent years about its finances, governance and refereeing standards, but its relationship with the IOC reached crisis point when it elected Gafur Rakhimov as president last November.

The Uzbek businessman was named interim president in January, having previously been a vice-president, but he has also been on a United States Treasury Department sanctions list since 2012 for alleged involvement with a global crime network.

Despite his repeated denials of any links to organised crime, the IOC sent several strong hints to AIBA that there would be grave consequences if it left Rakhimov in charge but that failed to prevent his election.

An IOC statement added: "The Inquiry Committee was set up by the IOC EB on 30 November 2018 due to the ongoing seriousness of the issues in the areas of finance, governance, ethics and refereeing and judging.

"Those areas of concern were already identified in 2017 and closely monitored. Since then there has been a lack of satisfactory progress.

"The status of AIBA's full recognition will in principle be reviewed after Tokyo 2020."

PA

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