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Boxing body AIBA claims progress in IOC plea

LAUSANNE: The under-pressure International Boxing Federation (AIBA), which is fighting to keep its sport on the 2020 Tokyo Olympic roster after a storm of corruption allegations, has told the International Olympic Committee that swift progress is being made on cleaning up the sport.

Boxing’s inclusion in Tokyo depends on the outcome of an investigation into AIBA by the IOC, which has presented the body with a list of 41 questions via audit firm Deloitte.

AIBA leader Gafur Rakhimov stepped down as head last week, which the IOC deemed as merely the first step in a long march towards the required standards.

But on Wednesday, the AIBA made a plea to the IOC, saying significant progress had been made on their accounting and claiming that the body would collapse without IOC support.

The IOC has suspended AIBA’s Olympic qualification process and may take control of that process itself.

Ducking and weaving for its survival, the AIBA says it should be given the chance to turn things around.

“Considering where we were one year ago, AIBA has made significant progress towards reducing its debt and has gone from a negative cash flow of over $2,000,000 annually, to a positive cash flow,” AIBA executive director Tom Virgets said in a report.

Virgets said of the report that the AIBA “is dependent on the Olympic dollars” for its survival.

“With the Olympic money AIBA will have the financial resources to not only meet its obligations, but also eliminate AIBA’s debt and create positive equity by 2024,” he said.

“Once the IOC allows AIBA to move forward as the Olympic governing body, AIBA will be able to reduce our debt by an additional 4-5 million over the next 12 months.”

Relations between the IOC and AIBA were hit hard at the 2016 Rio Olympics when 36 officials and referees were suspended amid allegations of bout fixing.

An internal investigation by AIBA has raised serious questions about the judging at the 2016 Rio Olympics, with particular suspicion falling on a French official.


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