IOC warns IBA of Boxing's exclusion from the Paris 2024 after the organization renews Gazprom contract

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has threatened boxing with exclusion from Paris Olympics 2024 due to the body's increasingly heated dispute with the IBA and Umar Kremlev.

Boxers in action at the Rio Olympics 2016 (Image Credits: Birmingham 2022)
By Abhiruchi Rout | Dec 23, 2022 | 2 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has threatened boxing with exclusion from Paris Olympics 2024, in a major escalation of its increasingly heated dispute with the International Boxing Association (IBA) and its Russian President Umar Kremlev. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has already removed the sport from the schedule for the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles and has warned that it may possibly be removed from the Paris 2024 Games. The revelation earlier this month that IBA had extended a significant contract with Russia’s state energy company Gazprom and the Kremlev’s warning that they would not allow its fighters and officials to engage in events in which they were not involved have pushed them to their crisis point.

Following this, the IBA prevented Boris van der Vorst from running against Kremlev in an election in September, despite a Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) hearing that found the Dutchman should be permitted to run. A few days later, the IOC lifted a restriction on boxers from Russia and Belarus competing under their own flags, in direct violation of an IOC rule. An IOC Boxing Task Force, which handled the sport in Tokyo 2020, is currently in charge of the sport in Paris 2024. Kremlev said at the Global Boxing Forum in Abu Dhabi two weeks ago that the IBA had done everything the IOC had asked of them and warned them that they would no longer tolerate any intervention.

Read more: International Boxing Association (IBA) supporters’ hold protests over Boxing’s exclusion from Olympic Games

What the IOC said in their statement

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) in their statement said, “The recent IBA Congress has shown once more that IBA has no real interest in the sport of boxing and the boxers, but is only interested in its own power. The decisions and discussions to keep boxers away from the Olympic qualifiers and the Olympic Games cannot be understood differently. It has also become clear again, that IBA wants to distract from its own grave governance issues by pointing to the past, which has been addressed by the IOC already in 2019. There is no will to understand the real issues, the contrary: the extension of the sponsorship contract with Gazprom as the sole main sponsor of IBA reinforces the concerns, which the IOC has expressed since 2019 over and over again.”

“This announcement confirms that IBA will continue to depend on a company which is largely controlled by the Russian Government. The concerns also include the recent handling of the CAS decision which did not lead a new Presidential election, but only a vote not to hold an election. The IOC will have to take all this into consideration when it takes further decisions, which may – after these latest developments – have to include the cancellation of boxing for the Olympic Games Paris 2024, ” they further added.