Europe 1 with AFP / Photo credit: Nathan Stirk / GETTY IMAGES EUROPE / Getty Images via AFP 21:08 p.m., June 07, 2023

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) wants to ban the International Boxing Federation (IBA) from the Olympic world. This follows several years of conflict. The body's Executive Board "recommended" this exclusion to the IOC session.

The International Olympic Committee is preparing to ban the International Boxing Federation (IBA) from the Olympic world, the culmination of four years of a conflict that makes it uncertain whether the noble art will remain on the Olympic programme after Paris 2024. The executive board of the Lausanne-based body "recommended" Wednesday to the IOC session, its general assembly convened on an extraordinary basis on June 22, to "withdraw (its) recognition" to the IBA, already "suspended" since June 26, 2019, it said in a statement.

The suspense is thin, as the IOC session generally endorses what the executive decides, and the IBA should therefore permanently lose the organization of Olympic boxing tournaments and the financial windfall that accompanies it, to live solely on its own resources. The boxing body, discredited by repeated arbitration scandals, an abysmal debt and a former leader considered by the United States as "one of the leaders of organized crime" Uzbek, had nevertheless proclaimed its desire for reforms by appointing in December 2020 a new president, the Russian Umar Kremlev.

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Failure for the IBA

But in a vitriolic report also published on Wednesday, the IOC judges not only that the IBA "failed to meet the conditions" set for its reinstatement, but that it has entered into direct confrontation with the Olympic body, going as far as "intimidation", including when the IOC took away the organization of the Olympic tournament of Paris-2024 after having deprived it of that of Tokyo 2020.

The Olympic body also deplores the continued financial dependence on the Russian giant Gazprom, its main sponsor brought by Kremlev, which had also defied the IOC by allowing Russian and Belarusian boxers to fight under their own colors at the Women's Worlds in March in India. The IOC executive confirms the presence of boxing at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, decided since the end of 2020, but leaves in the dark its maintenance at the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, whose final program must be adopted this year.

The IBA's disgrace coincides with the emergence of a new player, the fledgling international federation World Boxing, propelled behind the scenes by several Western federations and already joined by those of the United States and Switzerland. Britain, the Netherlands and New Zealand have indicated that they want to follow suit.