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DPA/PA Images The president of the International Federation of Gymnastics will chair a task force charged with ensuring boxing takes place at Tokyo 2020.
# Good Grief
Man put in charge of Olympic boxing admits he is 'totally unprepared' for the role
As things stand, boxers have no idea as to how they might qualify for the Games.

THE CHAIR OF the task force created by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to oversee boxing at the Tokyo Olympics, along with its entire qualification process, has admitted that he was caught off-guard by his appointment and is “totally unprepared” for the role.

Morinari Watanabe, who is the current president of the International Gymnastics Federation, has been drafted in to ensure boxing takes place at his native Games next summer.

This follows the IOC’s decision to suspend their recognition of the International Boxing Association (AIBA) as amateur boxing’s world governing body and assume control of the sport for Tokyo 2020, which is expected to be rubber-stamped by vote at an IOC session between 24-26 June.

Following months of speculation regarding boxing’s Olympic status due to the fallout between the Olympic governing body and amateur boxing’s top brass, IOC executives recommended on Wednesday that AIBA be banished “due to the ongoing seriousness of the issues in the areas of finance, governance, ethics and refereeing and judging”, and their “lack of satisfactory progress” in these areas since 2017.

Watanabe, however, was not expecting to be asked to ensure boxing takes place in Tokyo, and admitted on Thursday that he does “not quite understand the situation around boxing”.

Following an IOC Coordination Commission visit to the Japanese capital, he will fly to Lausanne to hold a meeting with the IOC’s sport director Kit McConnell and discuss potential solutions.

Imago 20180911 Imago / PA Images Morinari Watanabe. Imago / PA Images / PA Images

“I was instructed two days ago to head the taskforce,” Watanabe said in Tokyo, as reported by Inside The Games.

This was something I was totally unprepared for. I was not expecting this. I will be flying back to Lausanne and will study and analyse the situation to come up with the best way forward based on research and study. I will need to go through a thorough analysis to come up with a way forward. I still do not quite understand the situation around boxing, so I will need to put my head around [it].

“I will talk to athletes and find out what is going on in their minds,” Watanabe added. “I want to address these concerns.

“We need to be completing these things in a few months, so I will be flying to Lausanne immediately and will start my research.

“The most important priority is the athletes. We must make a solution.”

The IOC have proposed to stage Olympic qualification for boxing between January and May of next year.

It likely means that this year’s men’s and women’s World Championships will not act as an Olympic qualifier.

As things stand, boxers have no idea as to how they might qualify for the Games.

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Boxing to remain Olympic sport for Tokyo but IOC intend to banish its broken governing body

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