The International Boxing Association (AIBA) will not be reinstated for the rescheduled Tokyo Olympic Games even if it completes its reforms in time to take back control of the amateur sport.
The International Olympic Committee took control of the qualification process for Tokyo 2020 after it became impossible to ignore the issues surrounding AIBA’s finances, governance, refereeing and judging, with the body suspended from Olympic recognition in May last year.
Control of the qualification process was handed to the IOC’s Olympic Boxing Task Force (BTF), which is chaired by Japanese Olympic Committee member Morinori Watanabe, the current president of the International Gymnastics Federation, although last month’s European Olympic qualifying event was cancelled halfway through due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The one-year delay to the Games announced by the IOC last week due to the global outbreak of Covid-19 led to renewed hope that AIBA could complete its reforms in time to take control of the Olympic event itself, with president of Russia’s Boxing Federation and chairman of AIBA’s market commission Umar Kremlev claiming that process is already close to complete.
“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,” Kremlev said last month. “AIBA is not what it was. It is already different. It has reformed. There are strong reforms taking place.”
But IOC sports minister Kit McConnell confirmed that this will not be the case, with AIBA’s hearing pushed back in accordance with the postponement of Tokyo 2020, confirming that the BTF will remain in charge.
“The timing of the suspension of recognition of AIBA was linked with the timing of the Games,” McConnell said. “It was due to be reviewed following the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and that remains in place.
“The calendar moved to 2021 for the Olympic Games and the move of the review of the recognition status of AIBA will also move in that regard. So the remainder of the qualification system will still be run through the boxing task force that been put in place under the chairmanship of Mr Watanabe and the monitoring group of Mr Nenad Lalovic will also remain in place.
“It was linked with the timing of the Games and will move with the timing of the Games as well.”
One of the Russian national boxing team coaches who attended the abandoned qualifiers in London two weeks’ ago has since tested positive for coronavirus after returning home from London.
Anton Kadushin confirmed on Instagram that the experienced symptoms including a high temperature on 25 March, having been in attendance at the Copper Box in Stratford’s Queen Elizabeth Park.
Kadushi, who works with 2019 middleweight world champion Gleb Bakshi, is now at home in self-isolation, but Kremlev has confirmed that it is a mild case of Covid-19 and that there have been no further cases among Russian boxers who were competing in London.