Boxing body pledges reform to win back Olympic spot for 2028

Sports

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP)Boxing will reform a judging system tainted by manipulation to regain its place on the program for the 2028 Olympics, the president of the newly renamed International Boxing Association said Monday.

Boxing, weightlifting and modern pentathlon were all left off the initial list of sports for the 2028 Los Angeles Games last week and were asked to make changes by the International Olympic Committee.

The IOC is concerned by allegations of widespread fixing in Olympic bouts and other IBA events, as reported by an investigation conducted at the IBA’s request over the last two years. The IOC organized this year’s Olympic boxing tournament itself in Tokyo after excluding the IBA.

”We have nothing to hide,” IBA president Umar Kremlev said of the investigation’s findings, which said referees and judges were pressured to manipulate Olympic bouts in 2016 but couldn’t be certain which specific fights were fixed.

”We need to deal with this and draw up a plan of action which will help lead to our reinstatement at the IOC session in 2023 (when the 2028 program will be decided). We need to continue to improve our administration. We implemented new forms of administration less than 72 hours after the IOC told us about (removal from the 2028 program).”

An IBA congress voted Sunday to change the association’s branding from its old initials AIBA, give member federations a say more often, and to set up an ”independent integrity unit.”

Kremlev said of suspect judges and referees: ”If their guilt is proved they will be banned for life and not even allowed to attend boxing as spectators.”

Boxing was first on the Olympic program in 1904 and has featured in every edition of the Summer Games since 1920.

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