IBA message to boxing family following IOC statement about Paris 2024

December 23rd, 2022 / IBA

It is not with joy or pleasure that we write to you today as many of our member nations head into their holiday season. However, it is imperative that we address the latest attack on IBA’s athletes and IBA by the IOC for the new leadership’s continued commitment to becoming a sound and independent organisation, purged of prior governance issues and ultimately a financially independent sustainable organisation.

At the recent Global Boxing Forum in Abu Dhabi, you denounced the divide and conquer approach of the IOC. We have always worked and will continue to in the best interests of National Federations, athletes and coaches and it is crystal clear that our stakeholders and boxing family will continue to be united.

The Olympic Games are a global sporting asset that belongs to the athletes of all sports and cannot be a tool of extortion of the International Sports Federations for purely political reasons, as is unacceptably happening now. With that, IBA will continue to fight for its athletes to make sure you have every opportunity and equal right to participate in the Olympic Games, free from discrimination and separate from the politics of sport which has now become the normalized approach.

We are being criticized for renewing a commercial partnership that was first made in 2021. This partnership was announced to be renewed and confirmed by National Federations at the IBA Ordinary Congress 2022 as well as a new 6-year partnership with Australian equipment supplier STING. We are now securing additional partnerships which are no doubt positively impacted by the immense work done by IBA, led by Professor Richard McLaren and his team. These steps are the start of the many initiatives and governance reform to repair the reputational damage done by AIBA’s former President, IOC Member, and Executive Board Member, Ching-Kuo Wu. At this critical juncture for boxing, we cannot simply accept that the IOC refuses to acknowledge the misdeeds of a key figure in their Olympic Movement while continuing to criticize IBA and flatly ignoring the countless governance reforms undertaken.

It is clear, that the persecution of IBA athletes will continue until ultimate control of boxing and its leadership has been achieved. The discrimination against you and IBA’s leadership and partners based on citizenship, directly contradicts the Olympic Charter, and only highlights the issue of athletes and sport being manipulated for geopolitical purposes.

With that said, with the threat of Boxing being removed from the Paris 2024 programme, IBA will continue to reach out to the senior leadership of the IOC to work towards a de-escalation of this current development and with a view to LA 2028.

As we end a challenging yet successful 2022, our steadfast message to you, is that we will do everything in our power to make sure that you have all the opportunities to compete internationally. Alongside this, IBA will continue to host events that allow you to have a financially sustainable career that will lay the foundation for life after boxing.