IABA boss urges AIBA to save boxing from Olympic expulsion

All the IABA and the Irish boxing fraternity can do is hope the AIBA do whats required to ensure boxing’s 114-year Olympic status doesn’t come to an end, suggests Irish Athletic Boxing Association CEO Fergal Carruth.

Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), recently fired verbals the way of amateur boxing’s governing body warning boxing’s Olympic status could be reviewed amid fears that the sport faces expulsion from Tokyo 2020, as well as this year’s Youth Olympics in Argentina.

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

The Uzbek, who is heavily linked to organised crime and the heroin trade, was upgraded to provisional AIBA chief at an AIBA Congress last week.

Bach also took issue with preparations for the Extraordinary Congress in Dubai and how new leadership was installed rather than elected.

That, with concerns some bouts at Rio 2016 were the subject of match-fixing, means boxing’s Olympic status is at the very least being questioned.

Bach revealed how “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.” .

Withdrawal of boxing from the Games would be a massive blow to the sport and closer to home would take away Ireland’s best chances of mining precious sporting metals.

Speaking to Irish-Boxing.com Carruth claimed the IABA would do it all it could to help ensure the IOC’s requests are meet, but ultimately suggested our fate is in the hands of the AIBA.

The sport needs the World governing to meet the IOC’s standards with a second report set to be submitted in April.

Carruth outlined how “I know that the IOC have requested the World body AIBA to submit another report by the end of April in terms of governance and finance of the World body.”

“My understanding is that once that is acceptable to the IOC that will lift any threat that is hanging over boxing as an Olympic sport. We are just hopeful the World body will put forward any reports that are required and they will give the IOC the confidence they require from those reports in order to maintain boxings participation in the Olympic Games,” he added before suggesting boxing is integral to the Olympic Games.

“Boxing has been at the Olympic games since the early 1900s it would be a huge wrench for the Olympic games for boxing to removed. No one wants to see that. Boxing has a huge following around the world, many countries including Ireland have it embedded into their fabric.”

Carruth claimed the Irish Association would do anything it could to help AIBA in their bid to secure the futhre of boxing as an Olympic sport, but again hinted they are at the mercy of the World governing body who are responsible for matching the IOC’s requirements.

“We will certainly being doing anything we can to help assist AIBA as they bid to make sure we continued to keep boxing at the Olympic Games. It’s incumbent from anyone in leadership in boxing to make sure that happens.”

“We get regular updates from the World body in with regard to where they are in terms of that situation. We are just very hopeful at this particular juncture that the world body will what ever is required to ensure boxing stays in the Olympic games.”

Carruth’s comments came ahead of the 2017 National Elite Senior Championships which conclude tonight in Dublin and featue a number of fighters aiming for the Olympic Games in Japan in two yars time.



Integral part of the Irish boxing community for over 13 years