The International Boxing Association (IBA) has labelled a decision by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as a “disgraceful lack of respect”.

The IBA’s response comes after the IOC issued an ultimatum to all boxers and national federations, stating that any boxer whose National Federation adheres to the IBA will be barred from participating in the LA28 Olympic Games.

This strong reaction follows the IBA’s announcement to grant prize money to all Olympic champions and medalists of Paris 2024. Additionally, Olympic gold medalists will be eligible to compete for titles at IBA Champions’ Night events.

Umar Kremlev, President of the IBA, said: “The Olympics will serve as a qualifying round for the finalists who will earn the right to compete for the IBA World Champion title, with a prize fund of over $13m for 13 main weight categories, of which seven are men’s and six are women’s.”

However, the IOC withdrew its recognition of the IBA due to a “total lack of financial transparency”, explaining that the “IBA was not prepared to transparently explain the sources of its financing or to explain its full financial dependency, at the time, on a single state-owned company, Gazprom.”

Gazprom is a Russian majority state-owned multinational energy corporation. Although the IBA was financially dependent on the Russian-based company, the commission has ensured that its sponsorship deal has ended.

In response to the IOC’s statement, the IBA expressed that it believes it has supplied all the requested information to the IOC, but feels that its efforts have been dismissed as “not enough and unrecognised.”

A statement from the boxing governing body read: “Finally, after one of the most monumental and positive prize fund announcements made by the IBA in support of our athletes who will be participating in the Olympics in Paris 2024, the IOC responds by effectively punishing our boxers, the people who remain at the very heart of everything that IBA believes in and supports. 

“A double standard and biassed declaration, that once again shows the true colours of the International Olympic Committee.”

Looking forward, it is uncertain what the next course of action will be from the boxing commission and National Federations. However, the IOC has stated that “boxing is currently not on the sports programme of the Olympic Games LA28.”

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