“History will show who does more for the world.”
The International Boxing Association (IBA) allowed boxers from Russia and Belarus to compete at the world championships with a flag and an anthem. This caused a scandal: Western countries announced a boycott of the competition.
What will happen next?
IBA is headed by Russian Umar Kremlev. He called the jackals of the federation that did not let their boxers go
Russian Umar Kremlev has been heading the IBA since December 12, 2020. He advocates equal access for athletes to competition. The women’s World Cup will be held from 15 to 31 March in Delhi, the men’s – from 1 to 14 May in Tashkent.
In October, the IBA board of directors voted to allow boxers from Russia and Belarus to compete. The organization is politically neutral: “The IBA strongly believes that politics should not have any impact on sport. Therefore, all athletes should be given equal conditions.”
The decision was criticized, and with the approach of the women’s World Cup, a boycott was launched. Boxing federations announced thisUSA, Canada, UK, Ireland, Finland, Sweden, Poland, Czech Republic and Switzerland.
“The participation of Russian and Belarusian boxers in the world championships will violate not only the recommendations of the IOC, but also the principles of fair play and transparency,” said the head of USA Boxing, Mike McAtee.
The Kremlin stressed that he would not make concessions to the federations. And I am ready to sponsor athletes who decide to compete:
“The IBA will do everything possible to help athletes from the United States come and take part in the World Boxing Championships. And will provide them with assistance, including financial. For this we have a financial support program. We will fight for every athlete to give them the opportunity to represent their country and their people under the flag and anthem.
Those administrators and politicians who deprive athletes of this have no place in sports. Those who do this to athletes are worse than hyenas and jackals, they violate the integrity of sport and culture. I urge all colleagues to clear the ranks of such hyenas, I can’t call them otherwise.”
The Kremlin led the IBA out of the crisis – with the help of Gazprom. He was accused of having links with crime and tried twice to be re-elected
Kremlev took over the IBA in 2017, when it was drowning in debt and corruption scandals. This led to a vote of no confidence in President Wu Jingguo and the quick resignation of his successor, Gafur Rakhimov. In 2020, the Kremlin took over the post and launched large-scale reforms.
Kremlev saved IBA from bankruptcy with the help of Gazprom, which became the general partner and covered the $10 million debt of the Azerbaijani company Benkons LLC. The Kremlin began the fight against corruption: on his order, lawyer Richard McLaren created a report on contractual fights at the Rio 2016 Olympics. Potentially corrupt McLaren recognized up to 11 fights. The main thing is the fights of the Russians: Vladimir Nikitin against the Irishman Michael Conlan (in the quarterfinal up to 56 kg) and Evgeny Tishchenko against the Kazakhstani Vasily Levit (in the final up to 91 kg).
The reforms are a necessary measure, since a long-term conflict with the IOC led to the deprivation of the IBA license to host boxing matches at the Olympics. In Tokyo 2020, boxing was temporarily supervised by a special commission headed by the president of the International Gymnastics Federation, Morinari Watanabe. Kremlev revived the IBA and entrenched himself in his post, despite his imperfect reputation: he was accused of having links with crime in Russia and a criminal record.
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