IBA to fully scrutinize CAS award prior to considering necessity of Swiss Federal Tribunal appeal

April 3rd, 2024 / IBA

The International Boxing Association (IBA) has disappointingly heard that the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) did not uphold IBA’s appeal against the decision of the IOC Session that withdrew the recognition of the organization.

Despite the IBA’s hard working and diligent efforts to establish a robust and stable Home of Boxing for its athletes and coaches through extensive reforms, the association informs that its initiatives were overlooked by both the IOC and the CAS.

The IBA strongly disagree with the oversimplified language of the CAS media release. First and foremost, the IOC has never provided any form of a coherent roadmap to the IBA nor established a direct communication channel even after the IBA proposed a liaison person to be available 24/7 for these associated matters.

In fact, IBA has made considerable progress in all areas mentioned in the CAS media release and beyond. Among the key areas, it is worth mentioning that:

  1. The IBA Congress changed its Constitution and elected new Board of Directors that went through rigorous vetting process, reflecting the majority of recommendations of Ulrich Haas’ Governance Reform Group, and established the Boxing Independent Integrity Unit (BIIU) that is fully operational and consists of renowned legal experts;
  2. The IBA cleaned its pool of competitions officials and established the processes to vet all involved in the Field of Play operations, including International Technical Officials and Referees & Judges. Prof. Richard McLaren used cutting-edge procedures to vet the officials and define the high-risk ones, which were excluded by the IBA with immediate effect. In addition, as an independent investigator, Prof. Richard McLaren helped IBA to reveal the reasons of the issues of the past and name those responsible for the wrongdoings;
  3. The IBA wiped off multimillion debts and became financially sustainable and fully independent from the Olympic revenue with its income from events, as well as sponsors. IBA holds transparent politics in terms of finances, and ensures smooth organization of its competitions, as well as allocates prize money for major events.

In addition, IBA completely changed all staff from the very top down and throughout the organization, unlike those members who left IBA to cross over the road directly through the front door of the IOC offices.

The IBA feels that disregarding these and other improvements suggests a biased view. We further understand this noting that CAS is far from independent of the IOC, bringing those doubts based on comments from Thomas Bach on Tuesday; by virtue, his expectations of what would be happening, were interestingly released ahead of both parties receiving communication directly from CAS. He also announced the IOC’s victory in this dispute prior to the award being issued.

Driven by personal and purely political reasons, IOC President disrespected the Olympic Charter and discredited himself and the IOC as an organization naming the reason behind IBA’s recognition withdrawal.

The IBA will refrain from further comments until the CAS award has been thoroughly analyzed by its legal experts which is taking place right now to draw a conclusion whether the organization appeals to the Swiss Federal Tribunal.