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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 20 June 2018

Boxing faces expulsion from Olympic Games as IOC raise concerns over AIBA governance

Political in-fighting and refereeing controversies have marred boxing's governing body.

Boxing has been a mainstay of Summer Olympic Games since it was first introduced in 1904. Frank Franklin II / AP Photo
Boxing has been a mainstay of Summer Olympic Games since it was first introduced in 1904. Frank Franklin II / AP Photo

Boxing could be knocked out of the next Olympic Games if the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is not satisfied problems with the sport's finances and governance are sorted out, president Thomas Bach warned on Sunday.

Speaking in Pyeongchang ahead of next week's Winter Olympics, Bach said the IOC was "extremely worried" about how the sport was run and said the body was prepared to make bold decisions.

"The IOC reserves the right to review the inclusion of boxing in the programs of the Youth Olympics 2018 and Tokyo 2020," he told reporters, adding that the IOC would be freezing all contacts with the sport's governing body, AIBA, "excluding the ones on a working level necessary to implement the respective IOC decisions".

AIBA was not immediately available for comment when contacted by Reuters.

Following a two-day executive board meeting in Pyeongchang, Bach said the IOC had not been satisfied with a report prepared by AIBA, and that it would be opening an investigation into the body.

AIBA has been fraught with in-fighting for months, with former president CK Wu first provisionally suspended before stepping down last November after a bitter dispute with his executive committee.

AIBA named Uzbek Gafur Rahimov as its new Interim President last Saturday, following the unexpected resignation of Interim President Franco Falcinelli.

This is not the first time AIBA has had IOC funds blocked. The Olympic ruling body withheld payment of more than $1 million (Dh3.67m) of television rights from the Athens 2004 Olympics after a refereeing scandal at those Games.