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Sport Ireland 'deeply concerned' as boxing plans for 2020 Olympics put on hold

John Treacy said the current situation ‘creates great uncertainty for the outstanding athletes within Ireland’s boxing high performance programme’.

Sport Ireland chief John Treacy.
Sport Ireland chief John Treacy.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

SPORT IRELAND SAY they are “deeply concerned” by this morning’s announcement from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that they will freeze planning for the Olympic boxing tournament at Tokyo 2020.

The IOC today launched a probe into the sport’s troubled governing body, AIBA, warning it could be stripped of the right to run the competition.

“We are not going ahead, while the inquiry is underway, with any qualification system for the Olympic boxing competition in Tokyo,” IOC sports director Kit McConnell said.

In a statement today, Sport Ireland chief John Treacy explained the announcement created “great uncertainty for the outstanding athletes within Ireland’s boxing high performance programme”.

He said: “Sport Ireland is deeply concerned, but not surprised, by the IOC announcement made today.

“The IOC have been clear on their position on this matter for a considerable time

“When Gafur Rakhimov was elected as the President earlier this month, AIBA and the international boxing community would have been acutely aware of the IOC’s warning that the election of Mr. Rakhimov as President would jeopardise boxing’s place on the programme for Tokyo 2020.

AIBA’s long-standing governance concerns and the issues that exist between AIBA and the IOC are of significant concern to Sport Ireland. The election of Mr. Rakhimov is not the only governance issue of note within AIBA.

“The current situation creates great uncertainty for the outstanding athletes within Ireland’s boxing high performance programme.

There had already been significant worry amongst the sporting community that the qualification pathway for Tokyo had not been announced.

“Sport Ireland will continue to monitor the situation and, in the meantime, work with the IABA to prepare Ireland’s boxers to the highest standards in the hope that a resolution is found to the current situation.”

Michael Conlan, Katie Taylor, John Joe Nevin and Paddy Barnes Ireland's Olympic medalists Michael Conlan, Katie Taylor, John Joe Nevin and Paddy Barnes return home from London in 2012. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

The freeze encompasses all official contact between AIBA and Tokyo 2020 organisers, as well as ticket sales, test event planning and finalising the competition schedule.

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