Sports policy: fight for Olympic boxing: world association is threatened with knock-out

Olympic boxing is fighting against the knock-out, the possibly decisive final round is imminent.

Sports policy: fight for Olympic boxing: world association is threatened with knock-out

Olympic boxing is fighting against the knock-out, the possibly decisive final round is imminent.

The extraordinary meeting of the IOC Executive and German President Thomas Bach on Thursday points the way for the Olympic future of the sport. In this, the International Olympic Committee could officially withdraw recognition from the International Boxing Association (Iba), which has been suspended since 2019.

A rival association called World Boxing is already in the starting blocks. The fiercely disputed Iba is fighting against the end with all means, but her appeal to the International Court of Arbitration for Sport was unsuccessful. The uncertainties in the scene are great.

"A fundamental end without the alternative in the form of a new world association would mean dramatic losses," said Michael Müller, sports director of the German Boxing Association (DBV), the German Press Agency. Should the IOC finally exclude the Iba from the Olympic family, boxing would initially be without an Olympic association.

"That means that you have to do everything to ensure that it finds Olympic recognition again. The model of a new world association is an option," said Müller. If these plans were to be thwarted, "almost all of the full-time trainers would be liquidated" and "the promotion of the athletes would be drastically restricted," Müller added.

Iba fights back

The IOC decision may mark the end of years of dispute. From the point of view of its critics, the Iba stands for corruption, management problems and distortion of competition. The union, which was cornered, recently vehemently repeated that it had made crucial adjustments. The controversial Russian association president Umar Kremlev accused the IOC of having "no interest in recognizing our enormous progress". The world association reacted emotionally to the threat of exclusion from the Olympic circuit. The Iba spoke of a "disgusting and purely political" recommendation.

Observers consider the above changes to be smokescreens. The Iba, without much surprise, sees things differently and tried their luck with an appeal before the Cas International Sports Court - without success. The urgent application was rejected on Tuesday. The IOC Executive had recommended the Order of the Rings to withdraw recognition from the Iba. At the same time, she campaigned for boxing to be included in the program for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

In the boxing scene, on the other hand, it seems that the end has already been decided. "The Iba will lose Olympic status. There is no longer any doubt about that," the President of the Dutch Boxing Association, Boris van der Vorst, was quoted as saying by Deutschlandfunk.

Quarrel has been going on for a long time

The fight between the Olympic governing body and the Iba has already been going on for several rounds. The Iba has been suspended by the IOC since 2019, among other things because of dubious association management and a lack of financial transparency. As a result, the association should recover and work on the points of criticism. In a recently completed report, the IOC found: Iba has not met the conditions imposed by the IOC in December 2021 for readmission.

As one of the consequences of the suspension at the time, boxing was removed from the Olympic program for the 2028 Los Angeles Games. Qualifying for Paris 2024 and the Olympic bouts are in the hands of a task force set up by the IOC. It was the same at the Tokyo Olympics. The IOC also does not accept the Iba tournaments as the basis for an Olympic qualification.

The national federations have been looking in the direction of the newly created competition association World Boxing for a long time, which is to be officially founded in November. The German association is not yet a member of the association. The decision on participation must be made by the general assembly. Also because of criticism from the Iba, the DBV is still in wait. "We found out about World Boxing. I can't comment on everything else because of ongoing proceedings," said DVB sports director Müller.