The sport of boxing faces the prospect of being dropped from the sports programme of next year’s Olympic Games in Paris if a free and fair qualification programme could not be held if required technical officials, referees and judges could not be arranged after the International Boxing Association (IBA) threatened officials with strict action if officiated in the IOC conducted the programme.
Though IOC spokesperson Mark Adam refused to speculate regarding the fate of boxing at Paris 2024 or the next Olympics in Los Angeles in 2028, he did say that the IOC would not be able to go ahead with the sport if a free and fair qualification process could not be conducted because of the threat by IBA.
He said the IOC is currently going ahead with its qualification programme as per which the first qualifying event for Europe will be held in Poland in June as per schedule. The IOC has invited boxing judges, referees and other technical officials to confirm their participation in the qualification tournaments, Mark Adam said as of how they can’t give the exact number of officials that have sent in their confirmation.
On Wednesday, the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) discussed the situation of the International Boxing Association (IBA), including a letter received from the IBA on March 27, and also the reported threat by it to judges and referees not get involved with the events conducted by IOC.
In a letter sent to the IBA president Kremlev on Wednesday, the IOC refuted the allegations contained in IBA’s letter in particular those relating to the integrity of the process.
In the letter, also shared with the National Olympic Committees, the IOC EB said: “Pursuant to the Olympic Charter, the IOC Executive Board and the IOC President delegate to the IOC Director General and the IOC Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer the following powers:
“to analyse all the elements available, in particular the Expert Reports, and determine whether there are still major concerns regarding IBA’s practice and activities;
“in the event that there are still major concerns regarding IBA’s practice and activities, pursuant to the Olympic Charter, to take the following actions:
“notify IBA of the points of potential non-compliance and IBA’s right to be heard in writing;
“prepare a comprehensive report regarding IBA’s practice and activities based on all available elements (including without limitation the Expert Reports and IBA’s response) to be presented at the next IOC Executive Board meeting,” the IOC informed in a release on Wednesday.
The IOC also said that it reserves all its rights in this regard and will again review the situation in its next Executive Board meeting.