In a follow-up to yesterday's suspension of USA Boxing by the AIBA, it now appears that the USA boxing program is free to proceed with activities as normal.
Things started with a letter sent from current USA Boxing president Dr. Charles Butler to AIBA president CK Wu, acknowledging the suspension and taking responsibility for the actions and statements by former USA Boxing president Hal Adonis. Here are the contents of that letter:
Dear President Wu,
USA Boxing has received and acknowledges the decision of the AIBA Disciplinary Commission. USA Boxing accepts that the remarks of Mr. Hal Adonis and the vote of 34 members were a violation of principles of the Olympic movement. We deeply apologize for those remarks.
Remarks that discriminate against large groups of our athletes based on race or gender and associate the sport of boxing with child abuse are totally foreign to our membership. Our members have dedicated their lives to helping the young men and women of our country get off the streets and change their lives for the better. Many of these young men and women have become great American Olympic and World Champions, who are ambassadors for boxing worldwide. The membership of USA Boxing treats all athletes and members with equality and respect.
As President of USA Boxing, for the protection of our Boxers and in fairness to our 37,000 members, judges, referees, and coaches who have dedicated their lives to this great sport, we respectfully ask for immediate clarification and modification of the suspension to confirm that our athletes may compete on every level and the suspension will not prohibit USA Boxing from operating at any level.
The United States Olympic Committee has already demanded that changes be made to the way USA Boxing is governed and run. The offense of which we are guilty is one committed by our leadership. Please allow our leadership to accept responsibility and make it right. With complete respect for you as the man who changed the image of AIBA from a tarnished organization to a sport that has earned the respect of the IOC and the World, I ask you to help the athletes and all the good members of USA Boxing to survive this time of crisis in our organization.
On behalf the members of USA Boxing, thank you for your consideration and your help. We respectfully await your response.
Charles F Butler
President of USA Boxing
Dr. Butler sent out the following e-mail after a conversation with Wu, informing of the suspension having been lifted:
Dear Friends in Boxing,
I have just spoken with Mr. Ho Kim, Executive Director of AIBA. Mr. Kim has communicated with Dr. CK Wu over USA Boxing’s letter, sent by me earlier today, on the sanctions imposed against USA Boxing by AIBA yesterday.
Mr. Kim stated that both he and Dr. Wu are fully supportive of the athletes, coaches, and membership of USA Boxing, and we are pleased to report that all boxing activity, at all levels, is free to proceed. We have also received confirmation from our insurance carrier that USA Boxing’s coverage remains in effect.
Notwithstanding Dr. Wu’s and Mr. Kim’s support of USA Boxing and its membership, AIBA and the USOC remain extremely concerned about USA Boxing’s governance. The USA Boxing Board of Directors has previously agreed, in principle, to a governance restructure. As your president, I am fully committed to addressing our governance issues. Dr. Wu and Mr. Kim have asked me to express their high regard for the membership of USA Boxing, and they also request the support of all members in the reorganization process that will make us a model for the world. Now is the time for all members to rally and support organizational change for the betterment of Olympic style boxing.
It is obvious that the reputation of our members and the good they have done through the years is what will see USA Boxing through. You have given your time to our athletes without prejudice. You have aided all who come through our doors. Boxing is good to go!!!
Yours in boxing,
This is good news as USA Boxing does need to be monitored and cleaned up (as does AIBA) but the kids who are training their asses off or who use amateur boxing programs as ways to stay off the streets shouldn't be the ones who are punished for the screw-ups of those in charge.