Olympic boxing is once again in jeopardy.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has reportedly removed the sport from its 2028 lineup. In a statement, the committee expressed its concerns with incumbent president Umar Kremlev’s new leadership of the International Boxing Assocation (IBA).
“Following these disturbing developments, the IOC [executive board] will have to fully review the situation at its next meeting,” the statement added.
The IOC has already expressed “grave concerns” over Kremlev’s leadership of the IBA, and has left boxing off the initial list of sports for the 2028 Games as a result of it.
The IOC wrote to Kremlev in May to address its concerns over the governance, integrity of judges and financial sustainability of the IBA, the Guardian reported. But Kremlev responded in April that the IBA has “built trust and confidence” with the IOC.
In 2013, boxing was proposed to be removed from the 2020 Olympic Games, but that ultimately fell through.
Then in 2017, when former IBA President CK Wu was suspended before stepping down, IOC President Thomas Bach said:
“There is the governance issues, there is the fact that financial statements have not been made fully transparent, there are still questions open with regard to judging, refereeing and anti-doping.”
As a result, this led to the 2020 Olympic Games to be overseen by the IOC directly. But the controversy continued last yeaar when Canadian lawyer, Professor Richard McLaren, revealed through an independent report that bouts were rigged and manipulated in the lead up to the Rio Olympic Games in 2016.
Boxing is still reportedly on schedule for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, France, but will be administered by an IOC-appointed task force.
Boxing has been a part of the Olympics since 1904. Many boxers have transitioned from the games to professional boxing including Anthony Joshua, Oleksandr Usyk, Wladimir Klitschko, George Foreman, Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali – to name a few.