Find out here the nations that have left IBA to join World Boxing

USA Boxing has chosen to leave the International Boxing Association (IBA), where it has been a member for 77 years, and join the just-formed World Boxing International Federation (WBIF).

Boxers in action at the Rio Olympics 2016 (Image Credits: Birmingham 2022)
By Abhiruchi Rout | Apr 29, 2023 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

In a recent development, USA Boxing has chosen to leave the International Boxing Association (IBA), where it has been a member for 77 years, and join the just-formed World Boxing International Federation (WBIF). The action is being taken as the sport aims to reclaim its spot in the Olympics following two straight Games without IBA participation. In a letter to its members, the Executive Director Mike McAtee of USA Boxing made the announcement. Just a few weeks ago, the WBIF was established to safeguard boxing’s Olympic future. The IBA’s “failure to uphold its mission and principles of its constitution, and failure to respect the Olympic charter and movement,” according to McAtee, is why USA Boxing is leaving the organization. Since 1946, USA Boxing has been affiliated with the IBA, formerly the AIBA. The USA boxers have collected more medals in Olympic history than any other nation.

The end of this cooperation shows the fundamental rift between the present IBA leadership and a growing number of national programs determined to mend the sport’s tensions with the International Olympic Committee (IOC). McAtee emphasized USA Boxing‘s dedication to the Olympic movement in his letter by sticking to good governance, advocating neutral third-party oversight of the field of play, criticizing incorrect and misleading information from IBA leadership, and demanding open financial management.

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Boxing’s inclusion in the Olympics still doubtful

Due to issues with the IBA’s finances, governance, and competition judging, the IOC suspended recognition of the IBA in 2019 and has not since recovered its status. The IBA announced its Olympic qualification events despite no longer having the ability to choose Olympic competitors, deepening the divide between the organizations. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) task forces are in charge of the competition and qualification processes for the Paris Games in 2024 as well as the boxing competition at the Tokyo Olympics 2020.

The proposed schedule for the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles does not include boxing, which has been a part of every Olympic program since 1904 except for one. However, the IOC has noted that it may still be added. McAtee expressed rising worries among several national governing bodies that IBA officials have not adhered to the IOC’s recommendations and have not put the necessary adjustments into place to be re-admitted into the Olympic Movement. The IOC’s mandate to prohibit Russian and Belarussian athletes from competing under their national flags and colors has also been rejected by the IBA. The IBA Russian President Umar Kremlev, who met with Vladimir Putin in September, has stated recently that the IOC does not have the authority to determine how the IBA conducts itself. Kremlev argued that the IOC could not decide who qualified for the Olympics and insisted that any qualification competitions must go through the IBA.

IBA files complaint against World Boxing

On the same day as USA Boxing’s announcement, the IBA filed a complaint with the Boxing Independent Integrity Unit (BIIU) against unnamed “individuals and entities involved in the creation of a rogue boxing organization,” warning that those found guilty “will face consequences.” The BIIU is a theoretically independent investigative department within the IBA itself. The US was among several countries that withdrew from the IBA world championships earlier this year. World Boxing‘s interim executive board includes boxing leaders from Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, New Zealand, and the Philippines. The organization plans to choose permanent leadership at its inaugural congress later this year.

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