IOC pres­i­dent has ‘se­ri­ous con­cerns’ about box­ing fed­er­a­tion

Malta Independent - - Sport -

The elec­tion of an Uzbek busi­ness­man ac­cused of ties to or­ga­nized crime as pres­i­dent of AIBA isn't the IOC's only prob­lem with the am­a­teur box­ing as­so­ci­a­tion.

Ga­fur Rakhi­mov, who is on a U.S. Trea­sury Depart­ment sanc­tions list for al­leged links to in­ter­na­tional heroin traf­fick­ing, was elected Satur­day as head of AIBA. The sanc­tions bar U.S. cit­i­zens and com­pa­nies from do­ing busi­ness with him. He has de­nied wrong­do­ing.

"First of all, the is­sue with AIBA is not only about the elec­tion of the one per­son to pres­i­dent," In­ter­na­tional Olympic pres­i­dent Thomas Bach said Thurs­day. "We have ex­pressed se­ri­ous con­cerns for over a year with re­gard to the over­all gov­er­nance of the AIBA, with re­gard to their anti-dop­ing pro­gram, with re­gard to their fi­nances." Bach, who was in Rome for meet­ings, added that the IOC has asked AIBA to pro­vide a re­port con­tain­ing its view "and what they think that they have done to ad­dress these is­sues."

The IOC has yet to con­firm box­ing is on the pro­gram for the 2020 Tokyo Games and has threat­ened to host an Olympic box­ing tour­na­ment with­out AIBA, cut­ting off the fi­nan­cially trou­bled fed­er­a­tion from a key fund­ing source.

The IOC will take up the AIBA case at a board meet­ing in Tokyo next month.

"We don't want ath­letes to be pun­ished for mis­be­hav­ior of of­fi­cials or or­ga­ni­za­tions," Bach said. "What­ever de­ci­sion will be made we will make our best ef­fort to give the box­ers an op­por­tu­nity to con­tinue their Olympic dream."

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