Sun, Oct 07, 2018 - Page 11 News List

IOC freezes relations with global boxing

AFP, BUENOS AIRES

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Friday said that it has frozen relations with the International Boxing Association (AIBA) and refused to accredit interim president Gafur Rakhimov for the Youth Olympics.

The IOC executive board, meeting in Buenos Aires ahead of yesterday’s start of the youth games, which include boxing, issued a statement saying they were “freezing contacts.”

“The IOC is freezing all contacts with AIBA, except the ones on the working level which are necessary to implement the respective IOC decisions — for this reason, Rakhimov will not be accredited for the Youth Olympic Games,” it said.

This is only the latest statement in a week in which the IOC has made clear that it is prepared to kick the AIBA out of the Olympic movement and remove boxing from the 2020 Tokyo Games if “governance problems” were not resolved.

“These include the circumstances of the establishment of the election list,” the IOC said on Wednesday.

The committee did not mention any names, but Rakhimov, who has been linked to organized crime by the US Department of the Treasury, appears to be a problem.

In February, the IOC said it was worried by the nomination of the Uzbek businessman for the AIBA’s interim presidency, which he still took over.

That position is set to be confirmed at the AIBA congress in Moscow from Nov. 2 to 3. Rakhimov faced a challenger, Serik Konakbayev, a Kazakh who won an Olympic silver medal in Moscow in 1980.

However, on Wednesday, AIBA announced that Rakhimov is now the only candidate for the presidency. Since the AIBA constitution specifies that if there is only one candidate, there is no vote, Rakhimov is to become president.

In attempting to force change at the AIBA, the IOC had already suspended financial contributions to the association.

The IOC has also said that while boxing will be part of the competition at the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires, it had “required independent oversight of the refereeing and judging ... to protect the integrity of the competition and ensure the protection of the athletes.”

At the end of August, IOC chief ethics and compliance officer Paquerette Girard Zappelli broke with convention and wrote a letter to Rakhimov suggesting not to stand for the AIBA presidency.

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