AIBA votes to allow professional fighters to box at Rio Olympics
Professional boxers are eligible to compete at the Rio Olympic Games after the International Boxing Association (AIBA) changed its rules.
Their potential inclusion will be decided upon by the national federations after 84 of the 88 delegates present at an extraordinary congress at Lausanne in Switzerland voted to make them eligible.
They are not expected to be given a wildcard to the Olympics and must therefore pursue qualification at a tournament scheduled for Venezuela in July.
"This is a key part of my master plan and is a big step forward," said AIBA president CK Wu, according to insidethegames.
"At this stage, it is difficult to say how many professionals will compete in Rio. But there will be some.
"They will all have to go through the qualification system.
"In my belief every athlete should have the right to go to the Olympic Games."
One of the world's leading professional boxing organisations, the WBC, has described the move as the "shameful lowest stage" of Olympic boxing.
The British Amateur Boxing Association (BABA), however, is not expected to consider the selection of professional fighters for the Games.
The BABA has only two places remaining on the Great Britain squad, at light-welterweight and welterweight, and is confident at least one of its fighters will qualify at an event in Baku, Azerbaijan, later this month.
Beijing silver medallist Kenny Egan was immediately on to his former team mates about the news.
The qualification process for Pro boxers insults the amateur one,— Kenneth Egan (@kenegan30) June 1, 2016
It's absolutely scandalous #Rio2016
Pros boxers being allowed to fight in Olympics is ridiculous! They're two different sports. It's like a badminton player playing tennis— Carl Frampton MBE (@RealCFrampton) June 1, 2016
Paddy I want you to win the Gold mate. I'll stay out of it https://t.co/Yza6wRNfVr— Carl Frampton MBE (@RealCFrampton) June 1, 2016
Haha ill give you that! https://t.co/Ixe6tBemKg— Paddy Barnes (@paddyb_ireland) June 1, 2016
More to follow