In a time of turmoil for Olympic boxing, the International Boxing Association (IBA) has experienced yet another setback. With the Olympic Paris Olympics approaching, the IBA is facing a crisis as the Swiss Boxing Federation recently announced its departure from the organization. Joining forces with World Boxing, the Swiss Federation aims to secure the sport’s future in Los Angeles 2028.
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Furthermore, several other countries, including the United States. New Zealand, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, and the Czech Republic, have faced sanctions. The uncertainty surrounding boxing’s position in the upcoming Los Angeles 2028 Olympics adds to the urgency of the situation.
Switzerland Joins World Boxing, Leaving IBA: Troubles and Suspension
In a significant blow to the IBA, the Swiss Boxing Federation has officially withdrawn from the International Association and decided to join World Boxing. This decision follows the United States’ departure from the IBA, as both nations seek to align themselves with the newly emerged World Boxing entity.
It is anticipated that other federations will make similar choices in the near future. With New Zealand already indicating its intentions to follow suit. The Swiss Federation’s move is a direct response to the International Olympic Committee’s announcement of withdrawing. The IBA’s authority over organizing the Olympic boxing competition for Olympic Paris, including the qualifying events.
The International Boxing Association has faced severe challenges due to financial irregularities. And the investigation into manipulated fights during the Rio 2016 Games. Consequently. The IOC suspended the IBA in 2019, depriving it of the opportunity to organize the qualification tournaments for the Tokyo and Paris Olympic Games.
The persistent failure of the IBA to address corruption and ethical violations has left member federations disillusioned. The Swiss Boxing Federation’s decision aligns with the concerns of other bodies, prompting them to explore alternative options.
World Boxing, upon learning of Switzerland’s departure, expressed its support for the Swiss Federation’s decision to seek membership. Acknowledging the IBA’s failure to regain trust in managing Olympic boxing tournaments.
Boxing’s Uncertain Future in Los Angeles 2028
The sport of boxing is currently not assured a place in the Los Angeles 2028 Olympics. Recognizing the need to safeguard boxing’s prominence within the Olympic movement. World Boxing was established in April.
The new federation, headquartered in Switzerland, aims to gain recognition from the International Olympic Committee. It comprises representatives from the United States, Great Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, and New Zealand. The election for the federation’s president will take place in November, further solidifying its structure and leadership.
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Suspension of Federations and Qualifying Tournament for Olympic Paris:
In light of the IBA’s proximity to World Boxing, the former announced the suspension of New Zealand, Germany, Sweden, and the Netherlands on May 22. These federations were accused of violating rules and regulations.
Furthermore, the Czech Boxing Association also faced sanctions for allowing American boxers to participate in the international tournament “Grand Prix.” Despite these dropouts and suspensions, boxing’s main qualifying tournament for Olympic Paris in the region will take place at the European Games held in Krakow from June 21 to July 2.
The IBA, despite its initial opposition to the competition, has granted boxers, coaches, and judges the opportunity to participate, prioritizing the protection of athletes and distancing them from political conflicts.
The crisis in Olympic boxing continues to escalate as the IBA loses another member and suspends several federations. With the Olympic Paris Olympics on the horizon, the departure of the Swiss Boxing Federation to join World Boxing signifies the urgent need for reform within the sport.
The financial irregularities and ethical violations that led to the IBA’s suspension have created a lack of trust among member federations. The emergence of World Boxing. Also, As an alternative governing body has further intensified the uncertainty surrounding boxing’s future in the Olympics.
As the sport strives to regain its place in Los Angeles 2028, the upcoming European Games in Krakow will serve. As a crucial qualifying tournament for Olympic Paris. It remains to be seen how the IBA and World Boxing will navigate these challenges. And restore the integrity and stability of Olympic boxing.
IBA Boxers, Officials, and Coaches Participating in European Games 2023 for Olympic Paris Qualification
The International Boxing Association (IBA) has taken a significant step towards resolving the crisis in Olympic boxing. In a letter sent by President Mr. Umar Kremlev to all European NF Members of the IBA. It has been announced that IBA boxers, technical officials, and coaches affiliated with the European Boxing Confederation (EUBC) will be allowed. Allowed to participate in the upcoming European Games 2023. This participation is part of the IOC Olympic Qualification System (OQS) and aims to support the athletes’ Olympic aspirations.
Additionally, constructive discussions between IBA Secretary General and CEO Mr. George Yerolimpos. And European Olympic Committee (EOC) President Mr. Spyros Capralos have taken place to prioritize the athletes’ well-being and maintain the integrity of the qualification process.
An Athlete-First Approach: Preserving Integrity and Safety:
The IBA remains dedicated to an athlete-first approach, ensuring that all athletes. As well as technical officials and coaches, have a clear process and pathway to qualify for the Olympic Paris Olympics. The organization recognizes the crucial role played by technical officials and coaches in guaranteeing. The safety of athletes and the integrity of competition results.
Collaboration with IOC for Safeguarding Athletes and Results. To ensure the safety of athletes and the credibility of the Olympic Paris Olympic Games. The IBA will collaborate closely with the IOC in selecting top technical officials for the European Games.
The IBA plans to enlist the expertise of Prof. Richard McLaren, renowned for his comprehensive and reliable database on technical officials, to assist in the selection process.
Moreover, the IBA has offered the use of it’s ‘Bout Review System’ to the EOC President. This system, developed specifically for safeguarding competition results, incorporates advanced technology and expertise provided by a trusted company responsible for timing and scoring bouts.
The decision to allow IBA boxers, officials. And coaches to participate in the European Games was made with the utmost consideration for their safety and protection against the complexities of sporting politics. The IBA firmly believes that this move will safeguard the athletes. Their results, and prevent them from becoming collateral damage due to external influences.
IBA’s Commitment to Cooperation:
The IBA reiterates its commitment to cooperation as it endeavors to regain Olympic recognition. Notably, the organization has recently submitted a comprehensive 400-page report to the IOC, addressing governance concerns.
Additionally, the IBA has formed an Ad Hoc Communication Committee to facilitate open and free dialogue with the IOC. IOC Emphasizing the shared objective of benefiting the sport of boxing, its athletes. And ensuring stability and quality at the Olympic Games.
The European Games 2023, scheduled to be held in Krakow-Małopolska, Poland from June 21 to July 2, 2023. They will provide a significant opportunity for IBA boxers, technical officials. And coaches to pursue their Olympic dreams within the framework of the IOC Olympic Qualification System. With a renewed focus on athlete well-being and the integrity of the sport. The IBA is taking decisive steps to overcome the crisis in Olympic boxing and restore its standing within the international sporting community.
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