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USA Boxing condemns ‘false and misleading’ IBA claim about Paris Olympic qualifiers

Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images
Fighters Network
21
Feb

USA Boxing condemned the “false and misleading” claim from the International Boxing Association that their upcoming world championships are qualifiers for the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

The Russian-led IBA, which has been suspended by the International Olympic Committee for years due to corruption scandals and concerns about its financial viability, falsely claimed on Tuesday that their men’s and women’s world championships would be qualification events for the Paris Olympics.

Eight countries, including the United States, Canada and Sweden, have announced they will not be participating in the IBA tournaments over concerns ranging from doubts about the fairness of officiating and judging to allowing Russian and Belarusian boxers compete under their national flag amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which is in direct conflict with IOC’s sanctions.

The IBA statement also falsely claimed that the IOC had proposed having just one qualifying tournament. The IOC announced last September that there would be five regional qualifying tournaments in 2023, including the Pan-American Games, the European Games, the Pacific Games, the Asian Games and the ANOCA (Africa) multi-sport event, plus two world qualifiers in 2024, giving boxers three opportunities to earn a ticket to Paris.



“IBA is, at best, incompetent. At worst, USA Boxing believes this may be an attempt to sabotage the Olympic qualification for Paris Olympic Games,” wrote Mike McAtee, Executive Director for USA Boxing.

“USA Boxing condemns in the strongest possible terms this attempt by IBA to confuse boxers from around the world.”

IOC voiced their “grave concern” about IBA last September for being financially dependent on Russian state owned energy firm Gazprom, and for not acting quickly enough to enact reforms that were ordered before their suspension would be lifted.

IOC organized the qualification and competition events in Tokyo, and will do so for the Paris Games. Boxing has not been included in the initial program for the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles, presenting the possibility that boxing could be excluded from the Olympics for the first time since 1912, when they were held in Sweden, which had banned boxing at the time.

Ryan Songalia has written for ESPN, the New York Daily News, Rappler and The Guardian, and is part of the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism Class of 2020. He can be reached at [email protected].

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