Olympics-IBA to offer prize money to all boxing medallists at Paris Games

  • Boxing
  • Wednesday, 29 May 2024

International Boxing Association(IBA) president Umar Kremlev reacts as he speaks to media at 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) -The International Boxing Association (IBA) will offer prize money to all those who become Olympic champions and medallists at this year's Paris Games, the body announced on Wednesday in a move that drew criticism from Olympic officials.

The body is not organising the boxing tournament at the Paris Olympics after it was stripped of recognition by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) last year.

Based on the placings of boxers at the July 26-Aug. 11 Games, the IBA said it would award $100,000 to gold medallists, $50,000 for silver medals and $25,000 for bronze.

The move follows that of World Athletics, which in April announced it would be the first governing body to offer $50,000 in prize money for its Olympic champions, starting in Paris this year.

"Paris gold medallists in the boxing tournament will receive a substantial financial reward of $100,000. Out of this amount, the athlete will receive $50,000, their National Federation will receive $25,000, and their coach will receive $25,000," IBA President Umar Kremlev said in a statement.

"Our athletes and their efforts must be appreciated. The IBA offers opportunities and invests considerably in our boxers, they remain as the focal point, and we will continue to support them at all levels."

Kremlev added that the total prize money fund commitment was worth more than $3.1 million and would be distributed to more than 100 boxers.

"We are setting a clear example for many on how international federations should be treating their champions," IBA Secretary General Chris Roberts said.

"This is real support with real actions, a thing that has become rare in the international sports environment. We are happy to be the lead sport to have this opportunity to support our boxers and reward them for their hard work and dedication."

The decision was not welcomed by the IOC which said there was no financial transparency in the move.

"As always with the IBA, it is unclear where the money is coming from," the IOC said in a statement. "This total lack of financial transparency was exactly one of the reasons why the IOC withdrew its recognition of the IBA."

The IOC has urged the creation of a new global body for the sport, warning that athletes whose national federations adhered to the IBA instead of its IOC-approved successor would not be allowed to take part in the Los Angeles 2028 Olympics.

The IOC decided in June to strip the IBA of recognition over its failure to complete reforms on governance, finance and ethical issues.

The boxing tournaments at the Paris Games are being organised by the IOC, but there are fears the sport might be excluded from future Games, with it not on the initial programme for Los Angeles 2028.

(Reporting by Aadi Nair in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Alison Williams, Christian Radnedge and Clare Fallon)

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