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Boxing – Boxing Federation with Kremlev and Gazprom in a tie – Sport

Istanbul (AP) – The IBA World Boxing Association is in a bad mood and does not know if it has a future. The reason is the re-election of Russian President Umar Kremlev for the next four years and the associated retention of the main sponsor Gazprom.

Only the Istanbul election drew the critics to the action. Kremlev was the only confirmed candidate in office by acclamation. The only opposition candidate, the Dutchman Boris van der Vorst, had been classified two days earlier by an independent review committee as ineligible and was therefore not allowed to run in the elections. According to the statutes, voting by acclamation is lawful if there is no candidate to the contrary.

Uncertain future

The future of IBA, formerly known as AIBA, but removed the word fans from the name of its association and is called Olympic Boxing, is at stake. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has already threatened to withdraw boxing from the 2028 Los Angeles Games if there are no reforms in the federation.

In the context of the Russian war in Ukraine, the re-election of the Kremlin aggravates the problem of the IBA, while world sport isolates Russia and promotes the separation of Russian oligarchs and sponsors. The IOC has now announced that this will “raise questions and doubts about IBA’s leadership”. In 2019, the World Sports Government suspended the IBA. The reasons were the manipulation of combat verdicts, opaque financial management and obscure leaders such as Uzbek Gafur Rachimov, who was said to be involved in international drug trafficking.

The IBA has seven lifeguards. Gazprom’s money was used to pay off the association’s debts, estimated at 16 million euros. Recently, bonuses have been paid at world championships. The winners of medals in twelve weight categories at the current Women’s World Championships in Istanbul will receive 2.4 million euros. The 204 national boxing federations receive financial support.

The new statutes with the participation of internationally renowned jurists, the involvement of Chief Investigator Richard McLaren and his team to investigate breaches of the law on the one hand and the review and appointment of incorruptible arbitrators on the other , as well as the commitment of world-renowned auditing firm Pricewaterhouse Cooper to a transparent financial policy are essential IOC requirements that have been met. Former President Rachimov has long been ousted, the former board of 28 officials was replaced at Saturday’s election congress and replaced by uncontaminated candidates, reviewed by an international commission.

No IOC reaction

“Officially, no one from the IOC has commented on the Kremlev. Finally we want clear statements. If the IOC had said in clear terms: if you re-elect the Kremlev, boxing will remain suspended and not funded, the Kremlev would not have received a vote.” say Michael Müller, sporting director of the German Boxing Association.

The IOC is partly to blame for the confusing situation. For years, former President Wu Ching-Kuo, who was courted as an honorary member of the IOC, was able to govern and govern. Under the leadership of Taiwanese, up to $ 30 million in debt is said to have accumulated. The AIBA broke down, sponsorship revenue and IOC funds were nowhere to be found.

The association has been suspended for three years and has to look for sponsors in order to survive. Sponsors do not queue. The IOC has frozen about $ 30 million to which IBA is entitled from past Olympic cycles. If the money were released, the association would not need Gazprom. “We now have one of the best statutes in the world, we have new leaders everywhere, we have a world-class arbitration system, we let ourselves be controlled from the outside. We need to recognize progress,” Müller said.

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 220514-99-283758 / 5

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