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President comes from Russia: boxing association admits Russian and Belarusian boxers

President is from Russia
Boxing Federation admits Russian and Belarusian boxers

The IBA is the scandal federation in the world of sport. Even the IOC is fed up with the association led by the Russian Umar Kremlev. Boxing is even threatened with being eliminated from the Olympics. The latest decision will hardly improve the situation. Athletes from Russia and Belarus are allowed to fight.

The World Boxing Association (IBA) is allowing athletes from Russia and Belarus to compete again. This was decided by the board of directors of the association. The athletes of these countries are allowed to compete under their national flags. When they win, their national anthems are played. President Umar Kremlev announced the decision at the association’s congress a week and a half ago in Yerevan.

“Both the IOC and the international federations must protect all athletes and there should be no discrimination based on nationality,” the Russian said. “It is our duty to keep sports and athletes away from politics.”

The IBA is thus opposing the requirement of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to exclude athletes from Russia and Belarus from international competitions as far as possible after the Russian attack on Ukraine. After the IOC accused the federation of a lack of progress and transparency in governance and finances, and threatened to scrap boxing from the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics, Kremlin seems to be giving up all reluctance. The Russian sees himself strengthened because he was confirmed as president by 75 percent of the 155 voting national associations at the congress.

“The recognition of the International Boxing Association (IBA) was already suspended by the IOC in 2019 and remains suspended,” the IOC said in a reaction in the evening. The IOC Executive Board will fully review the overall situation of boxing at its next meeting, including other recent developments such as the outcome of its Extraordinary Congress. Kremlev seems ready to organize boxing worldwide if necessary without an Olympic future.

“I work for you, not for a third organization,” he called out to the member associations at the congress, stressing: “We shouldn’t say Olympic boxing, we should say IBA boxing.” Since Kremlev has been President, the Russian energy company Gazprom has been helping to pay high prize money at world championships. The national associations also benefit.

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