Tuesday 24 April 2018

Boxing's Olympic status in jeopardy, warns IOC

Bach warned over the weekend that boxing’s 114-year Olympic status could be reviewed amid fears that the sport faces expulsion from Tokyo 2020, as well as this year’s Youth Olympics. Photo: Reuters/Ahmad Masood
Bach warned over the weekend that boxing’s 114-year Olympic status could be reviewed amid fears that the sport faces expulsion from Tokyo 2020, as well as this year’s Youth Olympics. Photo: Reuters/Ahmad Masood

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Michael Conlan's controversial defeat to Vladimir Nikitin at Rio 2016 continues to haunt the International Boxing Association (AIBA) ahead of Tokyo 2020.

Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), warned over the weekend that boxing's 114-year Olympic status could be reviewed amid fears that the sport faces expulsion from Tokyo 2020, as well as this year's Youth Olympics.

The IOC is concerned about governance issues within AIBA, with Bach highlighting the recent appointment of Gafur Rakhimov as AIBA interim president.

The Uzbek, who is being linked to organised crime, was installed as provisional AIBA chief at an AIBA Congress last week. None of the 109 National Federations, including Ireland, had a vote on the appointment.

Bach took issue with "preparations for the Extraordinary Congress in Dubai and the way the new leadership was, I cannot say elected, but promoted or installed". The IOC is also concerned that some bouts at Rio 2016 were the subject of match-fixing.

Irish bantamweight Conlan was adjudged to have lost to Russia's Nikitin, a result, along with a number of other decisions, which led to widespread consternation.

"The IOC Executive Board is not satisfied with the report prepared by AIBA on governance, finance, referee and doping issues. The IOC reserves the right to review the inclusion of boxing at the Youth Olympic Games and Tokyo 2020," said Bach.

Meanwhile, Rio Olympian Joe Ward and 'the Breadwinner' claimed two of the top accolades at the Irish Athletic Boxing Association Annual Awards Night at the Louis Fitzgerald Hotel in Dublin on Saturday.

Ward was presented with the Best Overall Boxer award.

Cork's Tim O'Sullivan is affectionately known as 'the Breadwinner after winning a tournament many years ago. The prize was a loaf of bread, explained Mick O'Brien, MC at the awards.

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