Boxing-Kremlev says IBA could go to Swiss court if CAS appeal fails

  • Boxing
  • Friday, 17 Nov 2023

FILE PHOTO: International Boxing Association(IBA) president Umar Kremlev speaks during the opening ceremony of Women's World Boxing Championships at Indira Gandhi Indoor stadium in New Delhi, India, March 15, 2023. REUTERS/Anushree Fadnavis/File Photo

(Reuters) - World boxing body IBA could go to the Swiss supreme court if the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne rejects its appeal against Olympic exclusion, president Umar Kremlev said on Thursday.

The CAS, sport's highest court, was scheduled to hear the appeal on Thursday with a ruling unlikely before next year.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) stripped the Russian-led boxing body of recognition in June due to its failure to complete reforms on governance, finance and ethical issues.

The CAS rejected an urgent appeal by IBA at the time to have the move blocked.

Kremlev told a press conference in Paris, next year's Olympic host city, that IBA believed the IOC's decision was unfair.

"We will be defending our rights and if this doesn't work with the CAS we have a court in Switzerland that we can refer to to defend our cause," said the Russian, speaking through a translator.

"We will not allow boxing's destiny to be decided for it, it should be decided by boxers themselves... it's not the Olympic family that has taken this decision but rather Olympic officials that have pushed it.

"In boxing we say often you have to take two steps back to have a knockout. Sometimes you come out on top, sometimes you come out second. We are going to be defending our rights, that you can be sure of."

Boxing is part of the Paris 2024 Olympics but the qualification bouts and the competition itself are being run by the IOC and not the IBA, as was the case at the Tokyo Games in 2021.

While the IOC regularly removes or adds sports to the Olympic Games programme to make them more attractive to younger audiences, it is extremely rare for the Olympic body to strip an international sports federation's recognition.

Several countries have left the IBA to join a new organisation World Boxing, which is due to hold its inaugural congress in Germany next week with elections for president and other officials.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Toby Davis)

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