An unexpected beneficiary of Tokyo 2020’s delay has emerged: the International Boxing Association (AIBA), with which the IOC cut ties last June over its inability to properly sort out its corruption issues. AIBA’s market commission chairman, Umar Kremlev, spoke to Reuters today about its plan to renew their partnership.
With the Games being postponed to 2021 because of coronavirus outbreaks worldwide, AIBA could be in a position to retrieve its status before the Olympics, said Umar Kremlev, president of Russia’s Boxing Federation and chairman of AIBA’s market commission.
“I’m sure that by the end of the year or early next year, AIBA and the IOC will find a mutual understanding and will start working together,” he told Reuters.
“AIBA is not what it was. It is already different. It has reformed. There are strong reforms taking place.”
It’s a rather optimistic plan, I must admit. The IOC first suspended payments to AIBA in 2017 after the Rio Games were plagued with controversy, including an inexcusable robber yin the heavyweight finals. A year later, the Committee remained so unsatisfied with AIBA’s attempts at reform that it threatened to remove boxing from the roster entirely. Finally, in 2019, the Committee took the “if you want something done right, do it yourself” approach and took full control of Olympic boxing.
It’s more than a little presumptuous to for Kremlev to assert that they can do with an extra year what they haven’t managed in four, but AIBA does have one point in its favor: controversial president Gafur Rakhimov stepped down last summer, leaving Interim President Dr. Mohamed Moustahsane in charge. Still, good luck with that one, lads.