Boxing ‘100 percent compliant with anti-doping’
Controversial newly-elected amateur boxing chief Gafur Rakhimov Wednesday said the Olympic-threatened sport was now “100 percent compliant with anti-doping” rules.
And addressing a press conference in New Delhi, the 67-year-old vowed that “boxing will always stay in the Olympics”.
His pledge came 48 hours after the International Boxing Federation (AIBA) submitted a crucial report to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) which it hopes will lift the threat over its inclusion at the Tokyo 2020.
The sport’s Olympics fate will be decided at an executive board meeting of the IOC in Tokyo next month.
Rakhimov said the report that covers “anti-doping, integrity, governance (and) financial aspects” outlines AIBA’s drive to clean up the sport.
The IOC has been losing patience with boxing since a judging scandal at the 2016 Rio Games when all 36 officials and referees were suspended while allegations of bout-fixing were investigated.
Rakhimov pledged to improve refereeing in the blue riband Olympic sport.
“We will continue to work on the badly inherited refereeing system from the past,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the opening ceremony of the women’s world championships.
Rakhimov, who was elected on November 3, is trying to mend relations with the IOC that had once severed ties with the Uzbekistani businessman.
Rakhimov, previously interim president, has been linked to organised crime by the US Treasury Department but he has always denied the allegations.
He insisted he was working towards the “best interest of boxing”.
“AIBA always looks forward to cooperation with the IOC in order to improve any areas that are lacking or are of concern by the IOC,” Rakhimov said.
AIBA’s executive director Tom Virgets also discussed the body’s bid to improve the refereeing system.
“First and foremost AIBA has taken the politics out of choosing the referees and judges,” said Virgets.
“The referees and judges used to be approved by a president and an executive director — both of them have now been removed from the process.”
He added: “We have also added a protest system into the programme which will take place at the start of next year.
“This system is going to allow coaches and athletes to protest a bout if they feel the officiating was way off the mark.”
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