With less than one month until the AIBA Men’s World Boxing Championships begin in Belgrade, and two months until the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships begin in Istanbul, AIBA unveiled “Fair Chance, Fair Fight” as the theme of the competitions and AIBA’s work towards them.
The “Fair Chance” team has been created for athletes who have felt forced to leave their countries, often because of conflict. This team is a response to growing displacement – resulting in refugee status, as well as other humanitarian crises. AIBA’s belief in the right to a Fair Chance is further reinforced by the provision – for the first time in boxing history – of equal prize money for women and men.
“Every boxer deserves a fair chance and a fair fight. We are fully committed to that principle, and we hope to demonstrate just how dedicated we are to keeping that at the core of our boxing events. It is critical to ensure a safe environment for all athletes, and especially for people in transition. I truly believe that by helping people in need we help society, at the same time as we develop boxing,” said AIBA President Umar Kremlev.
In order to further support AIBA’s belief that athletes’ chances of winning need to be exclusively up to the level of their skill and the quality of their performance, a new rigorous selection criteria has been introduced for referees and judges. No part selection process is being left up to the discretion of a single person, a random element has been added to safeguard the participants from attempts at competition manipulation.
Additional candidate background checks will be carried out by the team of Professor Richard McLaren, an independent expert, appointed by AIBA earlier in the year to conduct an investigation into the organization’s past sporting integrity issues. Beyond that, competition officials will be undergoing further training prior to Belgrade Championships, including but not limited to a module on enhanced ethics and behavioural provisions.
“We owe it to all our athletes to do everything in our power to secure a safe, controlled, and fair environment for them to demonstrate the results of years of training. Their job is to put on a fight in the ring, our job is to make sure it is judged and assessed fairly. Therefore our officials have to be trusted with taking good care of our boxers and their winning chances,” AIBA Secretary General, Istvan Kovacs said.
In order to secure a clean and doping-free Championships, rigorous testing will be conducted throughout the event, doubling the number of tests that were carried out at the previous World Championships.