IOC Executive Board recommend boxing remain a Tokyo 2020 sport and AIBA have recognition suspended

Task force created to develop a Tokyo 2020 qualification system, following Inquiry Committee report into AIBA finance, governance, refereeing and judging.

By Sanjeev Palar and James Pratt ·

Boxing will remain a sport at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, if recommendations made by the Executive Board (EB) of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) are ratified.

The board decided on Wednesday (22nd May 2019) that boxing should maintain its place on the sports programme of the Games, but that the International Boxing Association (AIBA) should have its IOC recognition suspended following an Inquiry Committee report into finance, governance, refereeing and judging.

Instead, it was recommended that "The Olympic Boxing Tournament Tokyo 2020, including all qualifying competitions, shall be organized following guidelines established by the IOC Executive Board." according to an IOC statement.

The final decision on the recommendations will be made at the 134th IOC Session, which will take place in Lausanne from 24th to 26th June 2019.

In the interest of athletes

The president of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, commented, "We want to ensure that the athletes can live their dream and participate in the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, while drawing the necessary consequences for AIBA following the recommendations of the Inquiry Committee.

"At the same time, we offer a pathway back to lifting the suspension, but there needs to be further fundamental change." he added.

“Today’s decision was taken in the interest of the athletes and the sport of boxing." said IOC President Thomas Bach in a statement.

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Task force created

The IOC also noted that no events had previously been confirmed as qualifying events for Tokyo 2020, and that the Executive Board had created a task force to:

a. Ensure the delivery of the following boxing competitions, with a goal of increasing sustainable gender equality in all areas of the sport:
i. Qualification events for boxing in view of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, due to take place between January 2020 and May 2020;
ii. Boxing tournament at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

b. Develop a Tokyo 2020 Qualification System for boxing, including the following details to be confirmed not later than the end of June 2019:
i. Definition of Men’s and Women’s weight categories;
ii. Review of quota places allocation across the boxing events, with a goal of increasing gender equality;
iii. Set the criteria for the quota places distribution at the qualification events.

The task force is chaired by IOC Member and President of the International Gymnastic Federation (FIG) Mr Morinari Watanabe.

"The IOC will develop a new calendar for the Olympic qualifiers, which will take place between January and May 2020." - IOC Statement

The future of AIBA

For the past six months the Inquiry Committee, chaired by IOC Executive Board member Nenad Lalovic, who is the Olympic wrestling body’s president, has been looking into AIBA's finance, governance, ethics, and refereeing and judging.

The committee met with an eight-person delegation from AIBA, led by interim president Moustahsane on Monday (20 May).

The delegation provided the IOC Inquiry Committee with insights into its "complete transformation" of the organisation.

They also outlined the improvements made and assessment tools put in place to continued rebuilding all areas of the organisation.

The IOC EB decision on Wednesday (22nd May), said there had been "a lack of satisfactory progress", and recommended that the recognition of AIBA by the IOC be suspended. It was also recommended that the status of AIBA’s full recognition should be reviewed after Tokyo 2020.

A special monitoring committee, consisting of the members of the former Inquiry Committee, would monitor AIBA's progress towards compliance with the Olympic Charter and the IOC Code of Ethics.

Next Steps

The 134th IOC Session, that will be taking the decision on AIBA and the sport of boxing at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, is scheduled to take place from 24 to 26 June 2019 in Lausanne, Switzerland.

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