MOSCOW (Reuters) – Amateur boxing’s international governing body (AIBA) should be able to complete its reforms and have its suspension lifted before the Tokyo Games are held in 2021, a Russian boxing official who also holds a position at AIBA said on Wednesday.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) last year suspended AIBA, the International Boxing Association, over issues surrounding its finances and governance and took over the boxing competition and qualification for the 2020 Olympics.
With the Games being postponed to 2021 because of coronavirus outbreaks worldwide, AIBA could be in a position to retrieve its status before the Olympics, said Umar Kremlev, president of Russia’s Boxing Federation and chairman of AIBA’s market commission.
“I’m sure that by the end of the year or early next year, AIBA and the IOC will find a mutual understanding and will start working together,” he told Reuters.
“AIBA is not what it was. It is already different. It has reformed. There are strong reforms taking place.”
Kremlev said that European Olympic qualifying, organized by the IOC’s Boxing Task Force (BTF) earlier this month in London, should not have taken place at all because of the pandemic. The tournament was halted in its early stages because of the virus.
“What happened is of course a very bad situation for athletes,” he said. “They had prepared, went to the competition and then the tournament was stopped. It was ridiculous to even begin this tournament.”
Reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Editing by Christian Radnedge