The concept of a fair fight is at the heart of all integrity issues in our sport.
In December 2021, IBA committed to carefully consider and fully implement the recommendations of Professor Richard McLaren’s report into the Rio 2016 Olympic boxing tournament and more recent competitions up to and including the IBA World Boxing Championships 2021 in Belgrade.
The report represented the third part of Professor McLaren’s investigation into manipulation in international boxing competitions, including the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, under the governance of IBA, IBA’s predecessor.
The previous report, Stage One, issued on 30 September 2021 dealt with manipulation at Rio. The IOC had identified the refereeing and judging of the tournament as an issue in its report which led to IBA’s suspension.
Stage Three dealt with post-Rio manipulation after 2016 through to 2021. The report found that, despite supposed remedial action by IBA in the wake of Rio, including the resignation of former President CK Wu, ‘There was a loss of organisational knowledge and institutional memory; inconsistent application of rules; no appetite to investigate the organisation or individual complaints; and ineffective disciplinary process without the force of sanctions.”
Professor Mclaren's recommendations included:
- Create an Independent Integrity Unit
- Switch the existing Whistleblower line to the IIU
- Implement independent background vetting by IIU of all elected positions, competition officials and senior staff new hires
- Develop an integrity education programme
- Overhaul disciplinary process, with the IIU providing increased investigation and prosecution capacity
- Rigorously enforce roles of officials on the field of play
These recommendations have either been implemented or are being implemented. Successful implementation at the 2021 Men’s World Championships was described by Prof. McLaren as a turning point for the sport.