Boxers in limbo say AIBA as IOC mull Tokyo 2020 exclusion
The under-pressure International Boxing Federation (AIBA) criticized on Thursday the IOC’s decision to wait until late May before delivering their verdict on the sport’s Olympic fate as it fights for its place on the 2020 Tokyo roster after a storm of corruption allegations.
AIBA said the International Olympic Committee’s refusal to comment on a wide-ranging audit for nearly another two months left their members “in limbo”.
“Boxers from around the world who have been training for years towards their Olympic dreams continue to be left in the dark about where, when and how they can qualify for the Tokyo Olympic Games,” an AIBA statement said on Thursday.
“AIBA has provided not one, but four comprehensive reports over the course of the last year to the IOC for review.”
“(So) it is very surprising that the IOC are unable to provide a conclusive decision regarding boxing’s Olympic future at this time,” the statement said.
Boxing’s inclusion in Tokyo depends on the outcome of an investigation into AIBA by the IOC, which has presented the body with a list of 41 questions via audit firm Deloitte.
“The matter is being studied and we will make no comment for the moment,” IOC spokesperson Christian Klaue said on Thursday.
“We will file a full report at the IOC Lausanne executive committee meeting on May 22,” he added.
Gafur Rakhimov stepped down as head of AIBA last week, which the IOC deemed as merely the first step in a long march towards the required standards.
AIBA made a plea to the IOC on Wednesday, saying “significant progress” had been made on their accounting and claiming that the body would collapse without IOC support.
The IOC has suspended AIBA’s Olympic qualification and may take control of that process itself.
Ducking and weaving for its survival, the AIBA says it should be given the chance to turn things around.
“Considering where we were one year ago, AIBA has made significant progress towards reducing its debt and has gone from a negative cash flow,” AIBA executive director Tom Virgets said in a report.
Virgets said of the report that the AIBA “is dependent on the Olympic dollars” for its survival.
Relations between the IOC and AIBA were hit hard at the 2016 Rio Olympics when 36 officials and referees were suspended amid allegations of bout fixing.
An internal investigation by AIBA has raised serious questions about the judging at the 2016 Rio Olympics, with particular suspicion falling on a French official.
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