LAUSANNE, May 23: Dealing a blow to Olympic boxing officials after months of investigations, the IOC has set up a vote next month on removing the sport�s governing body AIBA from organising bouts at the 2020 Tokyo Games.
The International Olympic Committee�s executive board on Wednesday proposed suspending AIBA � a move that will go before the full IOC membership at their June 24-26 annual meeting. However, the IOC intends to keep boxing�s 13 medal events on the Tokyo programme.
AIBA�s finances, governance and integrity of judging and refereeing have been investigated for six months by an inquiry panel of three IOC members, which published its report on Wednesday.
A key factor proved to be the continued influence of Gafur Rakhimov, AIBA�s president from Uzbekistan who stepped aside in March. He is on a US Treasury Department sanctions list for suspected links to organised crime and international heroin trafficking.
Rakhimov�s election six months ago �exposes the IOC, the Olympic Movement stakeholders and its partners, to unacceptable reputational, legal and financial risks,� the inquiry report said, citing problems for American sponsors and sports officials.
The Lausanne-based boxing organisation now looks sure to be being rejected next month despite wide-ranging reforms since longtime president CK Wu, who remains an IOC member, was forced out in 2017.
�There has been a lack of satisfactory progress,� said the IOC, whose board followed the inquiry panel�s recommendations that all areas of concern were unresolved.
Though Russian boxing official Umar Kremlev has publicly offered to clear AIBA�s $16 million debts, the inquiry report questioned the due diligence of �background checks on the origin of funds.�
AIBA can challenge any final decision by IOC members at the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and later at Switzerland�s supreme court. Federal judges can intervene in limited circumstances, such as if legal process was abused or a party was denied a fair hearing.
The boxing body said it will seek �further clarification� about the report, adding it �does look forward to working with the IOC in the future.� � AP