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The IOC questions the Olympic leadership of boxing after the international federation elections

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With boxing status at the Olympics in doubt, the IOC was not impressed on Saturday with the election of the leadership of the sport’s governing body, which was removed from recognition in 2019.

Members of the International Boxing Association (IBA) re-elected their Russian president Umar Kremlev by acclamation two days after the only other candidate, from the Netherlands, was removed from an independent verification panel.

“The events surrounding the IBA general assembly, in particular the election, deserve careful analysis and are only reinforcing questions and doubts about IBA governance,” the International Olympic Committee said in a statement.

Saturday’s vote marked the third presidential election in less than four years, with boxing officials around the world picking a winner in defiance of the IOC council.

The IOC has for years expressed concerns about the integrity of the IBA’s management and finances, and the potentially improper judging of matches at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics under previous leadership.

The Olympic body excluded the IBA from helping to organize boxing at the Tokyo Games last year and left it out of the initial sports scheme for the 2028 edition in Los Angeles.

Without a share of the Olympic revenue from Tokyo, the Kremlin has gained boxing support for clearing millions of dollars of IBA debt, albeit apparently from a single Russian source.

“The various concerns of the IOC, including the financial dependence on the state-owned company Gazprom, have not yet been resolved,” the IOC said.

Boxing will be at the 2024 Paris Olympics, but the IOC last week warned IBA members of concerns with the proposed qualifying route for hundreds of boxers.

The IOC said its executive board “will receive an update on the latest developments in the IBA” at a two-day meeting next week.

The Kremlin’s targeted election opponent, Boris van der Vorst, has filed an appeal with the Sports Arbitration Court against the election ban. He faced complaints about the ban on collaborating with candidates for other positions in the IBA.

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