Saturday 17 November 2018

IABA say they did not vote for controversial Uzbek businessman Gafur Rakhimov

The newly elected president of the International Boxing Association (AIBA) Gafur Rakhimov
The newly elected president of the International Boxing Association (AIBA) Gafur Rakhimov
Ger Keville

Ger Keville

The Irish Athletic Boxing Association (IABA) has claimed they did not vote for controversial Uzbek businessman Gafur Rakhimov in last weekend's AIBA presidential election.

Rakhimov won 86 out of 134 votes in Moscow to secure the presidency of amateur boxing's governing body, a controversial decision that has led to fears the sport will be banned from the Olympic Games.

In 2012, the US Treasury alleged Rakhimov was "a key member of a Russian-Asian criminal syndicate with a speciality in the organisation and the production of drugs in the countries of Central Asia" while he was refused entry from the 2000 Sydney Games due to alleged mafia connections.

He denies all allegations against him.

It is not standard procedure for the IABA to disclose which way they voted, but because of the controversy surrounding Rakhimov, they released a statement today confirming their vote went to beaten Serik Konakbayev from Kazakhstan.

"It is unusual for the IABA, as is the case with most national federations, to reveal how they voted in an election but given, the intense commentary surrounding this particular election it was felt by the board of directors and central council, that it was in the best interests of Irish boxing to do so in this instance," read a statement.

"It is Central Council that decide how the IABA vote is to be cast in all AIBA elections and as always, the vote is utilised so as to best further and protect the interests of boxing as a sport.

"Our decision was made following careful consideration of what was in the best interests of the sport and without any further information on the president other than that what we have learned through the media.

"The IABA remain concerned about the future Olympic status of boxing given the outcome of the election particularly, given that boxing remains Ireland's most successful Olympic sport ever.

"We acknowledge that there remains significant confusion in the aftermath of the AIBA election but are hopeful that the IOC and AIBA can reach resolution on the issues between them. The IABA is committed to assisting in any way possible to achieve that end.

"We are comforted by a number of factors not least, the IOC's commitment to the athletes, the boxers, that they will not be penalised as well as the AIBA President's comments that if a choice has to be made between boxing in the Olympics and one man that there is no choice.

"The IABA will not be commenting any further on this matter."

Online Editors

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport