Asian Boxing Confederation set to leave IBA after loss of Olympic status

ASBC, which includes UAE Boxing Federation, to follow United States and Britain in leaving the International Boxing Association after it was stripped of Olympic recognition

International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach hosts an extraordinary IOC Session to vote to withdraw its recognition of the International Boxing Association (IBA) over its failure to address governance, finance and corruption concerns. AFP
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The Asian Boxing Confederation (ASBC) said it plans to withdraw from the International Boxing Association (IBA) after the embattled global governing body was stripped of its Olympic recognition for failing to meet a set of reforms.

The ASBC's board of directors met in Bangkok on Thursday and Friday after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) expelled the IBA over a failure to complete reforms on governance, finance, and ethical issues.

The board recommended an extraordinary congress to amend its constitution and allow it to join a federation recognised by the IOC, president Pichai Chunhavajira wrote in a letter on Friday to the body's 43 member nations.

A date for the congress has not been decided. This year's Asian Boxing Championships have been postponed until further notice, including the youth and junior championships scheduled for July 14 in Astana, Kazakhstan.

"As a confederation we believe that the Olympics represent the pinnacle of athletic achievement," wrote Chunhavajira, who is a member of the IBA board of directors due to his position as ASBC president.

"The Asian Boxing Confederation wants to assure our national federations, boxers and supporters that we remain steadfast in our commitment to promoting the sport of boxing and supporting our athletes within Asia and on the international stage."

The ASBC comprises 43 affiliated national federations, including the UAE Boxing Federation.

An IOC extraordinary session approved an executive board recommendation to withdraw the IBA's recognition by a 69-1 vote. The Olympic body had suspended the IBA in 2019 over governance, finance, refereeing and ethical issues.

The IBA, which called the decision "a tremendous error", had tried to have it blocked through an urgent appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, sport's highest court, which rejected the appeal on Tuesday.

Several countries, including the United States and Britain, have left the IBA to form a breakaway group called World Boxing, which has not received recognition from the IOC.

Boxing is part of the 2024 Paris Games, but the qualification bouts and the competition are being run by the IOC not the IBA, as was the case at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.

Updated: June 24, 2023, 8:45 AM