Interim boss sole candidate for AIBA boxing presidency
Interim leader Gafur Rakhimov has been named as the sole candidate for the International Boxing Association (AIBA) presidency, setting the troubled body on a potential collision course with Olympics organizers.
The Uzbek businessman was the only candidate listed by the amateur boxing body’s election commission as eligible for the post, according to a document seen by AFP.
The International Olympic Committee said it was “extremely worried” when Rakhimov was nominated as interim president in February, and has threatened to axe boxing from the Games due to concerns over its governance.
Rakhimov’s critics claim he has links to organized crime.
The AIBA, which suffered a major judging scandal at the 2016 Rio Olympics, is expected to be discussed by the IOC’s executive committee when it begins a two-day meeting in Buenos Aires on Wednesday.
In a separate statement, the AIBA said it had slapped life bans on its Taiwanese former president CK Wu and ex-executive director Ho Kim of South Korea.
Wu was banned after a report by “forensic investigators” K2 Intelligence documented “gross negligence and financial mismanagement of AIBA affairs and finances”, AIBA said.
The ban will need to be ratified by member federations at the AIBA Congress in Moscow in November, where the new president is also due to be elected.
An internal power struggle saw Wu ousted and Rakhimov — who vigorously denies US government allegations of links to organized crime — installed as interim president earlier this year.
AIBA’s executive committee also voted to suspend Franco Falcinelli from the committee, his role as president of the European Boxing Confederation and all other boxing-related activities over “offending conduct”, the statement said.
“The executive committee felt that there was a need to once and for all to draw a line in the sand and put the bad behavior of the past behind us,” said AIBA executive director Tom Virgets.
“AIBA and Olympic boxing have over the past year been facing major challenges due to the gross negligence and financial mismanagement of the previous leadership, and the evidence presented to the executive committee was overwhelming.”
IOC president Thomas Bach said in February that he was “extremely worried about the governance of the AIBA” and that the IOC retained the “right to exclude boxing from Tokyo 2020”.
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