AIBA says progress made in fight to avoid Tokyo KO
Amateur boxing’s governing body was upbeat Thursday over the steps it has taken to avoid being potentially kicked out of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The AIBA is being investigated by the International Olympic Committee which in November froze preparations for boxing at next year’s Games, warning it could be stripped of the right to run the competition.
Since the IOC launched their investigation the two sides have yet to meet face to face.
“There is no meeting planned with the IOC up to now,” AIBA executive director Tom Virgets told AFP.
“AIBA is preparing documents to present that will address the additional advances that we have made on every question and area that the IOC has asked us to report on.”
He called for hearings conducted by the IOC’s probe to be held in public.
“AIBA is transparent, and wants to be an open book. We have nothing to hide!” assured Virgets.
An IOC spokesman said they would sit down with the AIBA “once all the documents and responses we have from AIBA have been studied”.
The inquiry led by IOC executive member Nenad Lalovic, who is president of wrestling’s ruling body, met last week, with the AIBA absent.
The IOC’s probe is focusing on “governance, ethics and financial management” of the AIBA, which in November elected as president a controversial Uzbek businessman the US Treasury Department claims is linked to organised crime.
Gafur Rakhimov strenuously rejects the charges.
“We anticipate that the IOC’s concerns will centre on how AIBA is progressing in all of the areas they focused upon in the past, and I am confident that we will be able to show continued improvements in all areas,” Virgets said.
Relations between the IOC and AIBA were hit hard at the 2016 Rio Olympics when 36 officials and referees were suspended amid allegations of bout fixing.
Back in November the IOC made it clear it still wanted boxing to go ahead at Tokyo but warned its inquiry into the International Boxing Association (AIBA) “can lead to the withdrawal of (its) recognition”.
But the IOC said it would make “all efforts to protect the athletes and ensure that a boxing tournament can take place at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 regardless of these measures”.