Salem Radio Network News Wednesday, February 1, 2023


Olympics-IOC to review IBA after surprise Ukraine ban, junior sanctions

BERLIN (Reuters) -The International Olympic Committee (IOC) voiced serious concerns over the amateur boxing world body IBA’s ban of Ukraine’s national federation, saying it would conduct a full review at its next meeting in December.

The Russian-led International Boxing Association is already on the brink of losing its Olympic Games spot over governance, finance and refereeing issues dating back years.

The IBA was also stripped of involvement in last year’s Tokyo Olympics, and the sport is not on the initial programme for the Los Angeles Games in 2028 pending a string of reforms demanded by the IOC.

The IOC is running the boxing competitions for the Paris 2024 Olympics.

“The IOC is extremely concerned about the situation in the federation (IBA),” the IOC told Reuters in a statement on Friday.

“Amongst other concerns, this includes the fact that the recognised Ukrainian National Boxing Federation was suspended shortly before the IBA Congress for disputed reasons.”

The board said it would review the situation at its next meeting, scheduled for Dec. 5-7.

The IBA, run by Russian businessman Umar Kremlev, suspended Ukraine last week in a move that meant the federation could not cast a vote at a meeting that decided not to hold a fresh presidential election.

The IBA does not recognise Kyrylo Shevchenko as president of the Ukrainian federation but instead considers Volodymyr Prodyvus, an ally of Kremlev who left Ukraine after the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February and is now an IBA vice-president, as head.

In an unprecedented move this week, the Ukrainian junior boxing team were told they must compete under the IBA flag at the European championships in Italy.

Several bouts were decided by walkover after Ukrainian boxers refused to enter the ring, with others withdrawing in solidarity.

“The fact that the Ukrainian junior boxing team is not allowed to participate in the European Championship in Italy if they compete using national identifiers such as the national flag, anthem and any symbols of Ukraine adds to the many concerns expressed before,” the IOC said.

It had already warned last month that slow-moving reforms and IBA’s financial dependence on Russian energy firm Gazprom were of grave concern.

The Common Cause Alliance — a group of national federations that includes the United States and is campaigning to keep boxing in the Olympics after 2024 — said the suspension of Ukraine was a violation of the IBA constitution.

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann/Alan Baldwin in London; Editing by Gerry Doyle and Ken Ferris)


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