USA Boxing condemns IBA's "False and Misleading" qualification system for Paris Olympics

New Delhi, Feb 21 (IANS) USA Boxing has strongly condemned International Boxing Association’s (IBA’s) announcement that the upcoming World Boxing Championships in New Delhi and Tashkent will be the main qualification events for Paris 2024, calling it an attempt to “sabotage the Olympic Qualification for Paris Games.”

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has already suspended recognition of the IBA in 2019 over its governance, financial transparency and sustainability, and the integrity of its refereeing and judging processes.

The IOC has administered boxing at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 directly and is managing the qualifiers for the 2024 Paris Olympics as well.

USA Boxing executive director Mike McAtee on Monday in a statement said: “USA Boxing condemns in the strongest possible terms this attempt by IBA to confuse boxers from around the world, knowing full well that IBA is not associated with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) nor the IOC’s published Qualification SystemGames of the XXXIII Olympiad-Paris 2024 for Boxing.

“IBA is, at best, incompetent. At worst, USA Boxing believes this may be an attempt to sabotage the Olympic Qualification for Paris Olympic Games.”

The IBA, led by Russian official Umar Kremlev, has revealed its own qualification system for next year’s Olympics in Paris, despite being stripped of the rights to do so by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The IOC reaffirmed these qualification criteria, reiterating that “the only valid boxing qualification system for Paris 2024 is the one approved by the IOC EB in September 2022, published and distributed to NOCs and boxing National Federations on December 6, 2022.

“Following an investigation and report by an IOC Inquiry Committee in 2019, recognition of the International Boxing Association was suspended by the IOC. This suspension is still in force.”

On September 8, 2022, the IOC published the Qualification System-Games of the Paris 2024 Olympics games and said that the boxing qualifying events and competitions for Paris 2024 would not be run under the authority of the IBA.

The new qualification system is based on direct qualification through selected competitions — Pan-American Games 2023, European Games — Krakow 2023, Pacific Games 2023, Asian Games 2022 (taking place in 2023) and ANOCA (Africa) multisport event to be confirmed.

Following the continental phase of the quota place allocation, two world qualification tournaments are planned to be held in 2024.

Earlier, eight countries, including the United States, Britain and the Czech Republic, announced they are boycotting the upcoming women’s and men’s world championships in New Delhi and Tashkent after the IBA allowed boxers from Russia and Belarus to compete with their national flags and anthems.

Boxing has also been left off from the initial program for the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles.

–IANS

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