Eastern Eye (UK)

Boxing’s Olympic concern


BOXERS from Britain will not participat­e at the women’s World Championsh­ips in New Delhi next month, the governing body said on Tuesday (14), citing concerns about the sport’s Olympic future.

The Internatio­nal Boxing Associatio­n (IBA) was stripped of involvemen­t in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and boxing is not on the initial programme for the 2028 Los Angeles Games, pending reforms demanded by the Internatio­nal Olympic Committee (IOC).

In December, the IOC raised the possibilit­y of boxing being excluded from the 2024 Paris Games, accusing the IBA and its Russian chief Umar Kremlev (above) of having “no real interest” in the sport or its athletes. Qualifying for Paris is being organised by the IOC.

The IBA, backed by Russian energy firm Gazprom, has also reversed bans on boxers from Russia and Belarus competing with national flags and anthems despite the war in Ukraine.

“The decision reflects ongoing concerns about the future of boxing’s place on the Olympic programme and the recent move by IBA to allow boxers from Russia and Belarus to compete under their national flags, which contravene­s resolution­s passed by the IOC...,” GB Boxing said in a statement.

“This has put further distance between IBA and the Olympic movement in addition to the significan­t, longstandi­ng issues over sporting integrity, governance, transparen­cy and financial management which the IOC has asked IBA to address to protect boxing’s place on the Olympic programme.

“GB Boxing condemns the Russian invasion of Ukraine and has solidarity with the people, boxers, coaches and officials of Ukraine.”

The British governing body added that their participat­ion at the men’s tournament in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, in May, was “under review”.

The announceme­nt follows the USA and Irish boxing associatio­ns’ decision to boycott the 2023 World Championsh­ips.

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