The IOC is concerned about the Ukrainian issue

The conflict between the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Boxing Association (IBA) continued due to the decision of the IBA, headed by the Russian Umar Kremlev, to temporarily suspend the membership of the Boxing Federation of Ukraine (FBU). The reason for applying this sanction for the structure was the “intervention of the state” in the work of the FBU. According to the IBA, it resulted in the appointment of Kirill Shevchenko as president of the federation instead of Volodymyr Prodivus. The IOC, which has long threatened to strip boxing of its place on the Olympic program, has signaled that it considers the punishment illegitimate.

International Olympic Committee in a statement released Reuters, noted that he was “seriously concerned about the situation” in the International Boxing Association, including “in connection with the disqualification for controversial reasons” of the Boxing Federation of Ukraine. The IOC promised to consider this issue at a meeting of its executive committee in early December.

We are talking about the continuation of a fairly long-standing conflict between the parent sports structure and the IBA. It began at the end of the last decade and did not come to naught, after in 2020 the post of president of the association, which was in deep crisis and deprived of IOC recognition, was taken by the Russian Umar Kremlev. The latest manifestation of this conflict was the reaction for re-election Mr. Kremlev, who initiated a number of reforms, took place this year. The IOC actually refused to recognize the results of the May elections in Istanbul, in which the Dutchman Boris van der First, who tried to compete with Umar Kremlin, was not allowed to participate. And last weekend, the IOC accompanied the standard wording of "extremely serious concern" to the results of the IBA Extraordinary Congress in Yerevan. His delegates could have given the go-ahead for a repeat presidential election - already with the participation of Boris van der First, whose appeal against suspension was granted by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). But instead, the congress voted against them by an overwhelming majority, thus giving a colossal credit of confidence to Mr. Kremlin.

Now the IOC has focused attention on another problem that arose when, shortly before the Yerevan congress, the IBA suspended its membership in the FBU association. The reason for such a sanction was the June appointment of Kirill Shevchenko as president of the federation. Mr. Shevchenko, who this year served for some time in the territorial defense detachment, took the place of Vladimir Prodivus, who led the FBU for a long time, who joined the IBA Council, the association's key body, in the spring. She considered this step a gross violation of her regulations, which do not allow "state interference" in the affairs of a formally independent organization. Meanwhile, the Ukrainian sports authorities and Kirill Shevchenko, as follows from his letter to the heads of national federations (the content of the document was made public by Insidethegames), consider it a necessary measure, since Volodymyr Prodivus “left” Ukraine.

The suspension of the FBU did not imply a complete ban on Ukrainian boxers from competing in international competitions. They were allowed to participate in them in a neutral status, without the use of the national flag and anthem. The position of “coordinator” responsible for the participation of Ukrainian athletes in international tournaments was entrusted to the same Volodymyr Prodivus. Moreover, the IBA undertook to "support, including financially, the Ukrainian boxing team."

The first competition after the application of sanctions against the FBU was the Junior European Championship currently taking place in Italy. The Ukrainian delegation simply boycotted him, agreeing to speak only under their own flag.

The IOC drew attention to this, specifying that the IBA bans only "add to concerns."

He did not indicate what measures the position of the latter could provoke. But the main ones are already well known. The IOC has for the second time in a row excommunicated the IBA from control over the Olympic qualification and the Olympic boxing tournament - now as part of the 2024 Olympics in Paris. In addition, boxing has not yet been included in the program of the Games following it. They will take place in 2028 in Los Angeles.

Alexey Dospekhov

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