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Doubts over future of boxing in Olympics

Doubts over future of boxing in Olympics
The Olympic rings are illuminated in front of the National Stadium in Tokyo, Japan, January 22, 2021. (Reuters)

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Boxing’s future in the Olympic Games is in doubt after it was decided Russian Umar Kremlev will remain president of the International Boxing Association.

On Sunday delegates from amateur boxing’s world governing body voted to reject a proposal to hold new presidential elections.

In response the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said it was “extremely concerned” by the result.

Boxing was left off the initial list of sports for the 2028 Games.

In a statement, the IOC said: “Following these disturbing developments, the IOC (executive board) will have to fully review the situation at its next meeting.”

Sunday’s decision cast new doubt over the sport’s efforts to preserve its Olympic spot beyond the 2024 Games in Paris.

The IBA, formerly known as AIBA, was stripped of involvement in last year’s Tokyo Olympics because of governance, finance, refereeing and ethical issues. The IBA will also not be involved in the running of boxing events in 2024.

“We have to get to the point where boxing will be part of the Olympic Games in 2024 as well as 2028. We will do our best,” Kremlev said.

“No one can exclude us from anywhere.”

On Sunday delegates of the IBA voted by 106 votes to 36 to reject a proposal to stage a new election.

It means Dutchman Boris van der Vorst cannot challenge Kremlev for the presidency.

Kremlev was elected unopposed in May after Van der Vorst was declared ineligible.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled in June that Van der Vorst was wrongly prevented from standing.

On Friday, the IBA suspended the Ukrainian boxing federation after it had written to IBA members calling for Kremlev to resign or be voted out of office. (BBC)