Following the announcement of the rogue international boxing organization established, reportedly, in Switzerland, the International Boxing Association (IBA) has initiated a series of actions to protect its autonomy as the official worldwide governing body and global Home of Boxing. These actions are designed to provide absolute clarity to all 204 national federations and their confederations regarding the clear and present threat faced by the global boxing community and what it means to our athletes.
The announcement today does not come as a surprise to the IBA, and it is line with the divide and conquer rhetoric seen from the individuals that are currently being investigated by the Boxing Independent Integrity Unit (BIIU) for breach of the IBA Disciplinary and Ethics Code, specifically for “Inciting a Boycott of a Competition”.
Before the above BIIU investigation was launched, Steve Hartley, President, Boxing New Zealand told Radio New Zealand to “watch this space” when asked about a new official governing boxing to take over from IBA. He went on to say, “there is a lot happening, and it will happen very quickly after the [Women’s] World Champs” and that “the big one is the IOC making an emphatic statement. They’ve got to make an emphatic statement very soon … they’ve encouraged us to do everything we’re doing and advised us, but they could help more.”
Speaking on the matter, IBA Secretary General and CEO, George Yerolimpos stated that “the advice Mr. Hartley was speaking of had come together with the creation of the rogue international boxing organization even though there is a clear divide between the nations backing it and their athletes. This was seen at the Women’s World Boxing Championships in New Delhi where we saw record participation levels and athletes from boycotting nations, including team New Zealand. This division rightfully continues, as athletes put their interests first as it is clear some national federations are more interested in serving their own with little regard to the pain it causes athletes.”
Mr. Yerolimpos went on to say, “Ultimately, rogue world governing bodies and orchestrated coups are nothing new to sport, and like any well governed organization, there are mechanisms put in place to protect the organization, its members, and in the end, the athletes. However, it is unacceptable that the countless governance reforms conducted by the IBA, go unrecognized, and the pathway to our Olympic recognition was nothing but a predetermined dead-end. For those involved in the creation of the rogue international boxing organization and the nations who claim to be members of it, there is no doubt that the IBA will reserve its rights to claim damages from any person who is harming the IBA’s activities and reputation, and/or trying to achieve exclusion of the IBA from the Olympic family.”
As there is no other reason of establishing a rogue organization, other than to attempt to destroy the integrity of the International Boxing Association. The IBA strongly condemns the efforts of individuals to damage the significant strides taken by the IBA over last years to secure boxers’ the best future possible. Ambitions of individuals will never serve as a solid foundation for a successful organisation nor the destructive motives that have led to the creation of this rogue organization.
Consequences for the following breaches of the IBA Constitution, IBA Membership Policy, IBA Disciplinary and Ethics Code, and Technical and Competition Rules can be found below:
- Participation in another international boxing association will lead to the exclusion of the National Federation concerned from the IBA membership.
- Officials of the National Federation joining another international boxing association will be declared non-eligible by the IBA.
- Officials, Confederations, or National Federations who join another international boxing association will be sanctioned by the BIIU Tribunal.
- National Federations, their teams, individual Boxers or the Competition Officials participating in the competitions of another international boxing association will be sanctioned by the BIIU Tribunal.
- Article 5 A National Federation may not become a member of, or in any way affiliated with, any other international or national boxing organization save as provided for in this Constitution orotherwise with the express written permission of the Board.
- Article 11.1 Each National Federation is obliged to:
(h) avoid participation in any international boxing organization or association other than
IBA or a Confederation, unless otherwise permitted by the Board of Directors;
IBA Membership Policy
- Article 5.2 In order to be eligible, an official of a National Federation cannot hold any position in any international boxing organization other than IBA or a Continental Confederation, unless the Board grants its express approval before such official’s appointment or election.
IBA Disciplinary and Ethics Code
- Article Participation in other international boxing associations or organisations
- An Official, Confederation or National Federation cannot hold any position in any
international boxing organization other than IBA or a Continental Confederation, or
participate in establishment of such international boxing organization, unless the IBA Board grants its express approval before such official’s appointment or election.
Technical and Competition Rules
- Rule 1.6.2. National Federation, their teams, individual Boxers or the Competition Official are forbidden to participate in an International Tournament which is not approved in advance by IBA as per the mechanism of the previous Rule.
The IBA will continue to focus and deliver on its athlete-driven approach to governance with priority given to athletes’ wellbeing, making sure that the boxers are provided with fair opportunities, to compete in the best possible conditions and use boxing as an instrument for upward social mobility.
Men’s World Boxing Championships 2023 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan:
113 countries and 668 boxers across 13 men’s weight categories are registered to take part in the IBA Men’s World Boxing Championships in Tashkent that will take place from 30 April – 14 May at the Humo Arena.