Friday 19 January 2018

Boxing: Boxers hit in the crossfire

Alan Ruddock

Irish boxing is doing what Irish sport does best: tearing itself apart.

It is shocking that one of our most successful sports can be thrown into chaos by the ambitions of those who are meant to be its custodians, and even more shocking that the simple governance requirements that should prevent such nonsense have not become mandatory requirements for any sport that receives substantial state funding.

The Irish Sports Council has refused to fund the positions of chief executive officer and high performance director of Irish boxing because it is unhappy with the procedures that led to the appointments of Don Stewart and Dominic O'Rourke, respectively. The ISC is right to make a stand, though its credibility suffers from the lack of consistency that it has shown in its attitude to governance standards in other sports, particularly Athletics Ireland.

The ISC should expect full co-operation from John Lynch, the chairman of the Irish Amateur Boxing Association. Lynch, as a former head of FáS and long-time head of CIE, must understand the need for proper standards to apply when the state's money is being spent. More critically for Ireland's boxers, Lynch must also ensure that everything is done to maximise their potential at the 2012 Olympics. They deserve the best and they will not get it from an association that is at war with itself and the ISC.

Sunday Independent

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