MOSCOW, December 8. /TASS/. Sanctions of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) against the International Boxing Association (IBA) pose a direct threat against athletes and the sport of boxing on the whole, the IBA said in a statement posted on its official website on Thursday.
"The International Boxing Association (IBA) notes that it has been dealing with significant governance issues, which are, in fact, a burden from the past leadership, namely, former President of AIBA, Ching-Kuo Wu, who was an IOC member since 1988, an IOC EB [Executive Board] member, and an IOC Presidential candidate in 2013," the statement reads.
"Corruption, manipulation on the field of play, and mismanagement are to name a few amongst the tainted legacy that had been left by Wu’s regime for the current leadership," according to the IBA statement. "These past actions have all played a part in the multimillion-dollar debt that threatened the financial sustainability and future of the organization."
"We continue to be punished for a culture of corruption that was created and nourished by some of the individuals from the IOC’s upper echelon," the IBA statement continued. "This culture of corruption was developed over time and fixing it will take time to be done right, which has been ongoing for more than two years."
In 2019 the IOC stripped the IBA (known as AIBA at that time) of its acknowledgement status because that organization suffered from financial and managerial control crisis.
"Analyzing the source of all problems of the past, it becomes clear that the IOC member CK Wu have caused these issues in the boxing governing body," the IBA’s statement reads. "For two years, IBA has been fighting with the system orchestrated by CK Wu and his team, trying to clean the house and bring boxing back to greatness it deserves."
"Now, boxing is under a direct attack, and all IBA stakeholders, its athletes, are ready to stand and defend boxing," the IBA stated.
"We will not accept this artificial divide and conquer rhetoric that somehow the IBA and the athletes are separate, it is simply not true and any attack on the IBA is a direct attack on the stakeholders of our sport, the athletes," the statement said.
"Sanctions towards IBA are sanctions against its boxers, as we are inseparable. There is a unity inside the IBA Family, and athletes clearly support how their sport’s governing body is improving," the IBA’s press office added.
On March 4, the IBA barred boxers representing Russia from participating in international sports tournaments. However, on October 5, the IBA Board of Directors ruled to cancel its decision banning Russian and Belarusian athletes from international competitions.
Sanctions against Russian sports
On February 28, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) issued recommendations to international sports federations to bar athletes from Russia and Belarus from taking part in international tournaments, citing Moscow’s special military operation in Ukraine as the reason.
Following the IOC recommendations in late February, the majority of global sports federations decided to bar athletes from Russia and Belarus from all international sports tournaments.
In mid-October, IOC President Thomas Bach announced that the Olympic body recommended keeping athletes from Russia and Belarus suspended from international sports tournaments.