The International Olympic Committee has threatened to remove boxing from the Olympic Games after opening up an investigation into its governing body AIBA (International Boxing Association) amid concerns around match-fixing in Rio 2016 Olympics and overall governance.
The ICO was dissatisfied with a report prepared by the AIBA on its refereeing, finance, anti-doping, and governance and have opened up an investigation against the AIBA which will be led by their Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer.
The ICO made a decision to change the numbers of weight categories in the boxing events, this would see men’s categories reduced from 10 weight classes to 8 and woman’s boxing moving from 3 weight classes to 5, so far AIBA has been resistant to these changes.
Possibly not helping the situation was the AIBA’s decision to install Gafur Rakhimov as interim president of the organisation, a man who has been accused by the US as being linked to the heroin trade and who has had all his assets frozen by the US Treasury. Rakhimov is being accused of being one of the leading criminals in Uzbekistan.
The IOC had requested a progress report from AIBA, which AIBA state they have fulfilled but it appears the IOC want further clarification regarding match-fixing at the 2016 Rio Olympics, which resulted in officials being sent home from the games following some highly controversial decisions.
IOC president Thomas Bach stated “We are still looking into the issue, we want them to give a satisfying explanation, we are extremely worried about the governance of AIBA”
AIBA responded “This decision is extremely disappointing for the AIBA as it had hoped the IOC executive board would have understood that the processes necessary to implement even more measures require time”.
Rakhimov said in a statement released by the AIBA “Our message to the ICO and the world of boxing is that AIBA is turning over a new leaf and we intend to demonstrate our responsibility to all national federations and our commitment to the sport we all love”
If boxing was removed from the Olympics it would be a massive blow to the sport of boxing, winning an Olympic gold medal is at the pinnacle of any young boxers ambitions when they take up the sport at an amateur level, having this opportunity removed would almost certainly have an adverse impact on the sport worldwide.