Amateur boxing’s crisis-hit governing body Tuesday said it had done everything asked to clean up its act and warned of legal action if stripped of the right to organize the event at the Tokyo Games.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has frozen the sport’s preparations for next year’s showpiece competition as it seeks proof that the International Boxing Federation (AIBA) has done enough to address allegations of bout-fixing at the Rio Olympics in 2016.
A decision on whether it will run the boxing programme in Tokyo is set to be made on May 22. If barred, the IOC has said it will step in to ensure the sport still appears in the Japanese capital.
AIBA said in a statement to AFP that it will “defend its legitimate right” to organize boxing in Tokyo and “will review all of its options, including legal, given that the IOC has breached the Olympic Charter”.
The AIBA executive committee will meet on May 18 in Lausanne to fine tune its position.
The governing body’s chief executive Tom Virgets insisted they had met all the requirements stipulated by the IOC.
“We believe as an organization that we have done everything that has been asked by the IOC,” he told AFP on Australia’s Gold Coast at a summit of sports federations.
“Every single document asked, we produced, every single requirement we have met, including our president self-suspending, the same manner as IOC members self-suspend when they have problems.”
Controversial Uzbek businessman Gafur Rakhimov stepped down as head of AIBA in March, which the IOC deemed as the first step towards meeting the required standards.
He was replaced as interim president by Moroccan physician Mohamed Moustahsane — the fourth head of AIBA in 18 months.
Relations between the IOC and AIBA were hit hard at the Rio Olympics when 36 officials and referees were suspended amid allegations of bout-fixing.
An internal investigation by AIBA raised serious questions about judging at the event.
Asked if AIBA would take the matter to the Court of Arbitration for Sport if barred, Virgets replied: “We don’t know, this is why we have to explore what are our options, it would be premature for me to speculate what the decision will be.”
He added: “The Olympic charter basically says you’ve got to give due process, and we don’t feel like we have received due process.”
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