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IBA open ‘disciplinary proceedings’ aginst IABA for breach of ‘ethics’

The International Boxing Association (IBA) has opened disciplinary proceedings against the IABA.

Ireland are one of 11 countries boycotting IBA’s tournaments, including the upcoming Women’s and Men’s World Championships.

Ireland were the second country, following the USA, to decide to use a boycott to protest governance issues within the international governing body and to make a move to save boxing from Olympic expulsion.

The IBA confirmed the action today and named USA Boxing CEO Mike McAtee, President of Boxing Canada Ryan O’Shea, Czech Boxing Association President Marek Simak, Swedish Boxing Association Chairman Per-Axel Sjoholm and Boxing New Zealand President Steve Hartley in a statement.

The statement in full from the IBA reads:

“The Boxing Independent Integrity Unit (BIIU) has received a complaint against certain individuals for a breach of the IBA Constitution and its Disciplinary and Ethics Code with their public actions.

“Disciplinary proceedings were opened against Executive Director/CEO of USA Boxing Mike McAtee, President of Boxing Canada Ryan O’Shea, Czech Boxing Association President Marek Šimák, Swedish Boxing Association Chairman Per-Axel Sjöholm, and Boxing New Zealand President Steve Hartley. The BIIU will also investigate any role in the boycott by the officials of other national federations which have joined the participation boycott.

“The complaint is based on a violation of several articles of the Disciplinary and Ethics Code including article 24 of the Disciplinary and Ethics Code “Inciting a Boycott of a Competition” related to the IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships 2023 in New Delhi, India, and the IBA Men’s World Boxing Championships 2023 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

“The International Boxing Association (IBA) reiterates that it will continue doing its utmost to protect the organization and all its member National Federations from any harm caused by individuals. In boxing, there is no place for any form of discrimination, and IBA sees it as its mission to protect its values. Moreover, the IBA will defend its integrity and reputation and will not let any individuals damage it through their unethical behaviour.”

A total of 11 countries, including Ireland, are boycotting the championships.

The boycotting nations have said they will not take part in the women’s championship, due to be held in New Delhi from 15 March, or in the men’s championship in Tashkent from 1 May.

The move also comes after the IBA has announced last month that its world championships, which Ireland will boycott, would be qualifiers for the 2024 Olympics.

That claim was refuted as the IOC, who have expressed huge IBA concerns in recent years, organise the qualifiers for the 2024 Paris Games.

The IBA was suspended by the IOC in 2019 and stripped of involvement in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics due to governance, finance, refereeing and ethical issues.

The IOC also removed the IBA from the Paris qualification process as a result. Boxing is not on the initial programme for the 2028 Los Angeles Games, pending reforms.

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