Boxing faces being removed from 2020 Olympics after concerns raised over sport’s ‘governance’

Boxing could be removed from the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo after concerns were raised about how the sport is run in the amateur ranks.

It comes after Thomas Bach president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said that he was “extremely worried” about the governance of the sport.

The executive board of the IOC revealed flaws in the governance, refereeing and anti-doping in the sport after a report highlighted potential problems.

Anthony Joshua after winning gold in London 2012 (Credit Bill)

The IOC has decided to uphold its decision, first taken in December 2017, to suspend funding for the Amateur International Boxing Association (AIBA) until it had enough evidence to prove it had tightened up its governance as well as finance procedures.

Bach said: “We are extremely worried about the governance in AIBA. The IOC reserves the right to review the inclusion of boxing on the programme of the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 and the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.”

Thomas Bach has expressed his concerns about amateur boxing (Credit Olaf konsinsky)

 

All contracts with AIBA have been frozen and the body now says it will present a further report to the IOC by the end of April.

AIBA has described the decision as “extremely disappointing” and said it hoped the IOC board understands “that the processes necessary to implement even more measures require more time, and the positive steps already taken in recent times are evidence of AIBA’s strong efforts and willingness to reform.”

Last week, the IOC voiced concerns over AIBA’s interim president, Gafur Rakhimov, who has been described as “one of Uzbekistan’s leading criminals” by the US Treasury Department.

And Bach has also admitted that refereeing in the sport is still a key part of the IOC inquiry.

Scoring by referees and judges during the Rio Olympics in 2016 caused concern and the IOC president said those concerns remain now

Bach added: “From the fact that refereeing is part of the decision we already took in December last year and we were requesting more information, you can conclude we’re still looking into this issue,” he told a news conference on Sunday.

This in turn could be a huge blow for UK boxing as a number of Olympic British boxers have gone on to have glorious careers in the paid pro rankings. These include Amir Kahn, James Degale, Katie Taylor, Tasha Jones, Nicola Adams and Anthony Joshua.

Katie Taylor has gone on to become the WBA female lightweight champion after winning gold in London (credit Cormac70)

Joshua is probably the most notable fighter with him being the current WBA, IBF and IBO heavyweight champion of the world, with his fight last April against Wladamir Klitschko being named 2017 fight of the year by Ring magazine.

Joshua vs Klitschko won Ring magazine’s fight of the year award (Karl Ludwig Poggerman)