The worldwide governing body for the sport of boxing in all its forms (AIBA) should be able to complete its reforms and have its suspension lifted before the Tokyo Games are held in 2021, a Russian boxing official who also holds a position at AIBA said on last Wednesday.
AIBA has been on the ropes for several years as it has struggled to answer questions about its finances, governance and refereeing standards but its relationship with the International Olympic committee (IOC) reached a new low on last November.
Due to coronavirus outbreak, already Olympic games postponed to 2021, AIBA could be in a position to retrieve its status before the Olympics, said Umar Kremlev, president of Russia’s Boxing Federation and chairman of AIBA’s market commission.
“I’m sure that by the end of the year or early next year, AIBA and the IOC will find a mutual understanding and will start working together,” he told Reuters.
“AIBA is not what it was. It is already different. It has reformed. There are strong reforms taking place.”
“What happened is of course a very bad situation for athletes,” he said. “They had prepared, went to the competition and then the tournament was stopped. It was ridiculous to even begin this tournament.”
Kremlev said that European Olympic qualifying, organised by the IOC’s Boxing Task Force (BTF) earlier this month in London, should not have taken place at all due to the coronavirus pandemic. That competition was due to secure qualification for Tokyo 2020 for 77 male and female boxers.
AIBA does have one point in its favor which could help them to lift their suspension. Gafur Rakhimov, who was surrounded with controversies has stepped down last summer. Still they have to figure our how they will convince IOC in one year time.