General / IBA / IBA President

Disappointing IOC threats towards IBA and its National Federations; we will continue to protect our position

March 21st, 2024 / General, IBA, IBA President

The International Boxing Association (IBA) strongly condemns Thomas Bach, Kit McConnell, Nenad Lalovic, and Pâquerette Girard Zappelli, as they continue to place themselves above the entire sports world in pursuit of their own harmful and politicized ambitions. Time for this organization to reflect and to understand their continued mistakes and to draw appropriate conclusions. The IOC leadership attempts again to destroy the sports family and violate all the rules of clear democracy and transparency.

With their statements, the current IOC leadership deliberately creates a split, uncertainty, and instability in the sporting community. These individuals, by their actions, force athletes to become “slaves” of this ridiculous situation whilst the current IOC leadership continue to take money from our athletes, lining their very own pockets.

The reality and truth are that there is no alternative to the IBA as a governing body neither financially, nor in terms of organization and experience. With their statements, the ruling elite of the IOC constantly interferes in the affairs of the IBA and other international sports federations, violating the principles of its own Olympic Charter, freedom of speech and imposing its own fictitious rules.

We have seen this so called ‘World Boxing’ fail to gather the critical mass or financial support needed to survive, which has left the rogue organization in a precarious position as the leadership of the IOC moves to pivot on the much hyped but ultimately superficial organization. Notably, the IBA is fully transparent and free organization, the Home of Boxing for athletes and coaches. We will always defend our legal rights, protect our athletes and coaches, and will no longer allow the IOC leadership to dictate their terms and interfere in the affairs of the IBA.

IBA has no problems with the IOC itself, only those connected with this current bitter leadership. Rightfully so, the courts will decide the fate of this group, and we will once and for all be free to conduct our business in support of our athletes.

‘Despite the IOC current leadership’s attempts to strong-arm and threaten our National Federations, the IBA stands firm against the sacrificial intentions aimed at boxing’s Olympic future,’ IBA President Umar Kremlev said. ‘We refute any notion that the IOC leadership decisions are final while legal processes are ongoing. The IOC’s divisive tactics only tries to destabilize our position and the boxing community as a whole, while jeopardizing the IBA’s dedicated hard work in the sports integrity space.’

It is important to mention that IOC decisions are politicized and contradict the main principles of any sports organization. The IOC should remember that it was created as a sports movement, not as a special interest group of sports administrators who put their own agenda above the well-being of athletes.

Creating a new boxing body would mean involving the same people. Look at the example of the IOC who uses former AIBA employees to manage its very own Boxing Unit, hypocrisy at its very best. Outside of the IBA Family, people do not have the required subject matter expertise. If the IOC expects exactly the same people to build a brand-new and IOC loyal system, they are clearly mistaken; the most recent reports from the last qualifying event confirm our position and indeed thoughts. If the IOC thinks they will gain full control of the National Federations, they are again mistaken; we have set the standards for our athletes that are unmatched by any other.

Circus management and clown behaviour from Thomas Bach’s camp is apparent; we continue to see this with those disappointing antics, with the IOC hiding their own personal gains to the detriment of others and our boxing community as a whole. IBA remains transparent and will continue to speak up for its loyal members.

It is obvious that an existing rogue boxing body has no support of the IOC whatsoever and continues to fail or to deliver anything meaningful. The IOC prematurely state that a new organization must be created ahead of any legal decision made by the Court of Sport Arbitration (CAS) decision, disrespectful comments to those members of the board and to our boxing community. Throw away comments without any substance is easy, blame that the culture from within our organization hasn’t changed, yet the IOC continue to operate with pre-existing AIBA staff from the suggested days of manipulation and corruption. To this day, we still haven’t received any official response as to why we find ourselves in this position.

President Kremlev went on to say, ‘It was already revealed how boxing was destroyed at the time of CK Wu, who was an IOC Executive Board member. Corruption, with high probability, was organized with the knowledge and silent blessing of the IOC leadership.’

The clear goal of the IOC leadership is to destroy the IBA, this is undeniable. This continued attempt only puts them to shame, the facts are clear; the rogue organization has damaged the reputation of our sport, with no financial support from global sponsors (circa-900k annual budget), no experience or subject matter expertise to manage the sport globally. In addition, let’s not forget the grassroots of boxing, who will manage these competitions to bring up our athletes of the future?     

For the sake of ambitions to kill the IBA, these people are ready to destroy the whole sport, dreams of our youth and opportunities for the next generation of champions. It is not about the IBA as organization, it is about its people – thousands of boxers, coaches, officials. While Mr Bach, due to his political inclination, is unable to make decisions in the interests of athletes, children, and future champions, he seeks only personal gain within the framework of his non-stop rule. 

It seems that the IOC are bent on sacrificing boxing to ruin the IBA; we have been forced into independence, and risen to those challenges, through no choice of our own. Financial stability, an independent association, and the means to place our heads firmly above the parapet. It goes without saying, the actions of the IOC are nothing shorty of disappointing. 

The IOC condemns politics in sport, but its leadership does not object to use the same tactics to benefit their own agenda.

‘We refuse to let boxing become a casualty of political agendas. We will uphold the highest standards, even in the face of underhanded tactics. Our commitment remains unwavering: boxing’s future will not be compromised. We will use all possible legal methods unlike the IOC to prove us right,’ President Kremlev added.  

We will defend our legal rights, protect our athletes and coaches, and will no longer allow the IOC to dictate its terms and interfere in the affairs of the IBA.