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IOC stops payments to Aiba over 'major concerns' regarding its governance

‘There are still questions open with regard to judging, refereeing and anti-doping’, said IOC chief Thomas Bach.

Image: DPA/PA Images

THE INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC Committee (IOC) has frozen its payments to amateur boxing’s world governing body, Aiba, until problems over governance and finances are amended.

Perpetually blighted by scandal, Aiba has been under fresh scrutiny since boxing’s controversial showing at the Rio Olympics last summer, and has been dogged by in-fighting for the bones of 18 months.

Former president CK Wu stepped down from his role last month following a bitter dispute with his executive committee which resulted in calls for his impeachment and an eventual suspension.

Still a member of the IOC himself, Wu was replaced in his Aiba role by interim boss Franco Falcinelli. The federation will hold an extraordinary congress with its member international federations on 27 January in Dubai where it will consider proposed changes to the manner in which it’s governed.

The IOC itself, however, will not be providing funding for the organisation in the meantime.

“The IOC executive board has major concerns with regard to the situation within AIBA in different aspects,” IOC President Thomas Bach told reporters yesterday.

There is the governance issues, there is the fact that financial statements have not been made fully transparent, there are still questions open with regard to judging, refereeing and anti-doping and therefore we have asked AIBA for a full report by the end of January.

“We want to see the measures AIBA is taking to address these issues. Until things will change the IOC will not make any financial contributions to AIBA,” Bach added.

The IOC chief suggested the next payment to Aiba would be made ‘in a few months’ – this for referees at next year’s Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires.

The Olympic ruling body previously withheld payment of $1.1 million of television rights from the 2004 Olympics in Athens following several questionable refereeing decisions at those Games.

original (2) A New York Times sidebar from Rio 2016

Last summer, Ireland’s Michael Conlan leveled accusations of corruption at Aiba when he was eliminated at the quarter-final stage of the Rio Olympics despite plainly beating Russian opponent Vladimir Nikitin.

Conlan’s outburst, in which he suggested Aiba was ‘rotten from the core right to the top’, garnered widespread acclaim from both fans and Olympic boxers past and present.

The Belfast boxer, who returns to the ring for his fifth professional fight on Saturday, was fined €9,300 for his rant, but stated publicly that even had the fee been ‘one pound’, he would still never pay it.

The42 has just published its first book, Behind The Lines, a collection of some of the year’s best sports stories. Pick up your copy in Eason’s, or order it here today (€10):

Wu’s laughing now? A year on from Rio, Michael Conlan has left the failing Aiba in his wake

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