Lausanne, Switzerland – It is with deep regret that the International Boxing Association (IBA) confirms receipt of the resignation of SwissBoxing as of 1 June 2023. The decision can only come into force at SwissBoxing’s next General Assembly where its Statutes will be amended to reflect this. However, the IBA acknowledges the intention of the SwissBoxing Council to terminate the relationship with the IBA immediately.
The SwissBoxing resignation will launch a series of automatic mechanisms in which boxers and officials affiliated with the organization will not be permitted to participate at any IBA-owned or sanctioned events. The IBA will continue to follow its Constitution and Regulations to implement its processes as required and for the sake of good governance and the protection of its members and their events.
The grounds for the SwissBoxing decision that was communicated to the IBA are outdated and do not reflect or acknowledge any of the significant governance milestones achieved by the IBA. The IBA has improved significantly since 2020 when IBA President Umar Kremlev was elected. Not acknowledging the obvious progress of the IBA in addition to the attempts to slander the organizations current state is simply not acceptable and the IBA reserves all it rights to protect its name. The governance improvements have been confirmed by Professor Richard McLaren in his comprehensive report, and the current leadership has nothing to do with the past regime of corruption and mismanagement. In addition, competition officials are vetted by McLaren’s team, and with the IBA ‘Bout Review System’, there is no place for corruption at IBA competitions.
Earlier this year, SwissBoxing boycotted IBA events due to its position on boxers from Russia and Belarus that are allowed to compete in IBA events without restrictions. The statement reads, ‘The Executive Council of Swiss Olympic decided today to stick to its position that Russian and Belarusian athletes must continue to be excluded from international competitions. […] The SwissBoxing Association Council had decided not to participate in competitions in which Russian or Belarusian athletes compete. This out of respect for the many civilian victims caused by the Russian war of aggression in the neighboring country and the proximity of the IBA leadership to the Russian president.’
SwissBoxing clearly involves politics in sport which directly contradicts and grossly violates their Statutes, specifically Article 4 where it stated that “SwissBoxing is politically and denominationally neutral.”
The Swiss organization, reportedly, left for the newly formed rogue boxing body to become their second member following the USA Boxing and to ensure their Olympic participation which to this day has not resulted in a single medal for the nation. With that said, new membership applications from USA and Switzerland are being carefully examined by IBA.
‘The example set by former IBA member USA Boxing has left their athletes without an opportunity to compete and win titles and earn money to support their love of the sport and the cost of living required to follow their dreams. We now see SwissBoxing making the same mistake, and it is clear that these administrators do not think ahead and have blinders that prevent them from seeing the complete picture. IBA membership is a privilege, not a right, where the IBA and its National Federation’s are intent on building a prosperous future for the whole boxing family which requires a mutual commitment,’ IBA Secretary General and CEO George Yerolimpos stated.
Mr Yerolimpos went on to say, ‘With two members, the rogue organization can now officially organize intimate international events while their administrators play political games rather than supporting their athletes’ needs, but rather chasing personal ambitions that will never lead any initiative to success or serve the greater good of our sport.’