IOC sets deadline to keep boxing in L.A. Games



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LAUSANNE, Switzerland — The International Olympic Committee on Wednesday said it needs to find a suitable new international boxing body by early next year or else risk boxing dropping out of the Olympics for the Los Angeles Games in 2028.

The IOC stripped the International Boxing Association of the right to run the Olympic boxing tournaments in Tokyo in 2021 and Paris this year.

On Tuesday, the Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld the IOC’s decision to formally de-recognize the IBA, in effect cutting it out of the Olympic movement altogether.

The IOC has long cited concerns about the IBA’s governance and the integrity of how boxing matches are refereed and judged. Last year, it also accused the IBA’s Russian president Umar Kremlev of using “violent and threatening language” about IOC personnel.

“Because of the universality and high social inclusivity of boxing, the IOC wants it to continue to feature on the program of the Olympic Games,” the IOC said Wednesday.

“Unfortunately, this is far from certain for the Olympic Games LA 2028 because, for governance reasons, the IOC is not in a position to organize another Olympic boxing tournament. To keep boxing on the Olympic program, the IOC needs a recognized and reliable International Federation as a partner, as with all the other Olympic sports.”

The IOC called on national boxing bodies and Olympic committees to help set up a new international governing body for boxing. To keep boxing in the Olympics for Los Angeles, “the IOC needs to have a partner International Federation for boxing by early 2025,” it said.

The IOC didn’t name any candidates but the likeliest might be World Boxing, a breakaway body backed by boxing officials in the United States and Britain which split from the IBA last year and elected its own president, Boris van der Vorst of the Netherlands.

World Boxing has started hosting its own tournaments and said it had members from 27 nations and territories when it held a congress in November. In response to the IOC statement, World Boxing said it was “the last remaining hope” for boxing at the Olympics.

“This is an urgent situation and the clock is ticking,” World Boxing said Wednesday and called for more national boxing bodies to join its movement. We urge every one of them that cares about boxers and the future of the sport to apply to join and support World Boxing in its efforts to ensure boxing remains at the heart of the Olympic Movement, before it is too late.

The IBA said Wednesday it was considering whether to file an appeal to the Swiss supreme court against the CAS ruling, which it said had failed to appreciate the IBA’s own reforms.

“The IBA feels that disregarding these and other improvements suggests a biased view,” the IBA said.



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