Olympics-World Boxing to seek IOC recognition for 2028 Games

  • Boxing
  • Wednesday, 20 Mar 2024

FILE PHOTO: Drone view of the Olympic rings in front to International Olympic Committee (IOC) headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, March 19, 2024. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - World Boxing will seek recognition from Olympic organisers to replace the Russian-led International Boxing Association and keep the troubled sport on the programme for the 2028 Los Angeles Games, the fledgling body said on Wednesday.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) stripped the IBA of recognition last June after saying it had failed to complete reforms on governance, finance and ethical issues.

The boxing tournaments at the Paris Games are being organised by the IOC but sports director Kit McConnell said this week that the Executive Board had stressed the situation could not continue.

"This must be the last time that such a process can be undertaken by the IOC," he said. "Following the decision by the IOC Session last year, the inclusion of boxing in the LA28 Olympic programme is on hold and not confirmed.

"If there is no boxing body supported and driven by the National Federations, we will not be in a position to include boxing in the Olympic programme."

McConnell said it was up to national federations to create such a body and emphasised that IBA would not be involved in the organisation of boxing at the 2028 Games, should the sport be included.

World Boxing, which launched in April last year, elected in November former Dutch federation head Boris van der Vorst as its first president.

"The comments made by the IOC send a clear message to boxing national federations that they must join and support a new international federation immediately if boxing is to remain on the Olympic programme," it said in a statement.

"World Boxing will seek recognition (from the IOC)," it added.

"Should it choose to engage with us, we are committed to working constructively and collaboratively with national federations and all stakeholders to develop a pathway that will preserve boxing's place on the Olympic programme at Los Angeles 2028 and beyond."

The IOC said 188 boxers from 56 National Olympic Committees had so far secured their places for Paris. The final world qualifying tournament will be held in Bangkok from May 25 to June 2 with 51 quota places available.

World Boxing currently has 27 national federations, covering every continent involved in Olympic-style boxing, as members including the United States.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Christian Radnedge)

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