IOC inquiry into boxing federation raises concerns about the sport’s Olympics standing

Gafur Rakhimov speaks during the opening ceremony of the AIBA women's world boxing championships in New Delhi on Nov. 14.
(Chandan Khanna / AFP/Getty Images)

Olympic leaders have launched an investigation into the international amateur boxing federation, raising concern about the sport in the run-up to the next Summer Games.

The executive board of the International Olympic Committee announced the move on Friday, saying it would immediately “freeze the planning for the Olympic boxing tournament at Tokyo 2020.”

Board members said they will scrutinize the AIBA regarding issues of governance, finances and ethics. They expressed particular concern about the recent election of Gafur Rakhimov as AIBA president.

In 2012, the U.S. Treasury Department alleged that the Uzbek businessman is a key member of a transnational organized crime network involved in violence, narcotics and money laundering.


Rakhimov has denied any wrongdoing.

After reviewing a progress report submitted by the AIBA, board members said they were satisfied with the federation’s anti-doping efforts and with the judging and refereeing at the recent Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires.

Still, the IOC could decide to oust the federation and organize its own boxing competition in Tokyo.

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