The Irish boxing community especially boxers and their coaches as well as the IABA is today urgently await settlement of the outstanding issues which have ‘run and run’ between the International Olympic Committee and the AIBA International Boxing Association.
As we reported recently the 2020 Tokyo Olympics programme, just published, includes boxing but all is not as well as it first seems for the International Olympic Committee(IOC) Executive Board (EB) held a ‘close of conference’, Media briefing on Thursday at which it was stated that the AIBA’s funding remains ‘suspended’ and that the IOC requires that greater progress be made by AIBA in meeting its earlier demands in full.
The respected “Inside the Games” social media sites reported that the final decision must now wait until the next IOC Executive Board meeting
which convenes in Tokyo November 30/December 2 as to whether or not the oldest Olympic sport will DEFINITELY be included in the Tokyo programme as per the original schedule – worrying times for the AIBA, its boxers and coaches not to mention their National Federations.
The AIBA’s own Annual Congress takes place in November so the IOC expects, indeed ‘demands’ that all their outstanding concerns be addressed by the end of that AIBA meeting.
So what is the IOC still not satisfied with? We’ve reported in the past that they were very unhappy about the appointment of Gafur Rakhimov of Uzbekistan as Interim AIBA President as well as other issues including anti-doping procedures, alleged corruption at Rio 2016 with judging and the general financial situation and Management by the AIBA.
We need to get clarification from the IOC with regards to what they are looking for and what we are not giving them,” AIBA’s Tom Virgets told ‘InsideTheGames’.
“We are going to ask them to be very clear and concise on what those concerns are so we can specifically address what concerns them.
“Once we have a clearly defined understanding of what it is that they find deficient, we will correct them.
“Until I can get clarification, I am very satisfied with the direction we are going in and we are going to continue to stay the course”
In a late development, I.O.C President Thomas Bach held a ‘Presser’ Friday in Lausanne and had this to say, as reported by “Inside the Games”:
“It is a range of questions that are open with AIBA,” Bach said.
“These questions cannot all be answered by the Executive Board of AIBA or by the secretary general alone.
“There are proposals on the table, there are good ideas on the table but all of this has to be approved and supported there by their Congress otherwise we cannot reply on their implementation.
“This ranges from governance, financial and refereeing questions so we still need to wait.”
What appears particularly odd to your correspondent is why the AIBA says it does not know exactly the IOC is seeking in way of progress. Are IOC/AIBA relations so bad that they don’t even communicate properly with each other – after all not only are they both based in Lausanne, Switzerland within a few minutes of each other even on foot.
So the wait goes on and we must now wait until at least December 2nd to see if boxing REALLY will be in the Tokyo Games. My ‘best guess’ is that it will be but ONLY if the IOC is satisfied that ALL of its key demands are met.
Such demands almost certainly include a requirement that the AIBA’s current Interim President be replaced and in the writer’s view that is very likely to happen albeit Thomas Back understandably refused to be drawn further on that specific point.
We will of course update you here on SportsNews IRELAND and on sister sites Irish Olympic News 2020 and Irish Boxing News as and when new developments take place.
IOC Press Conference Friday : Thomas Bach IOC President