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25 Sep, 2022 15:17

Russian president wins boxing body vote of confidence

Umar Kremlev will stay in power at the International Boxing Association
Russian president wins boxing body vote of confidence

Russian national Umar Kremlev, the president of the International Boxing Association (IBA), will continue in his post after delegates expressed a vote of confidence in his rule at an extraordinary Congress meeting in the Armenian capital of Yerevan on Sunday.

As confirmed in an IBA statement, the Congress voted against holding new elections after the meeting was delayed by an hour due to a power outage.

Delegates cast 106 votes against the motion, while 36 voted for it and four abstained out of 146 eligible national federations.

As the Boxing Federation of Ukraine was suspended for government interference ahead of the Congress, it could not cast a vote on Kremlev’s continuation after writing to IBA members on Thursday calling for him to step down or be voted out of power.

Kremlev is expected to hold his position for the full four-year term he won in December 2020 after winning the vote on Sunday.

Boris van der Vorst’s hopes of ousting him have been ended, despite the Dutchman winning a Court of Arbitration appeal in June to overturn a May ruling that deemed him ineligible.

Commenting on IBA’s future moving forward, Kremlev vowed that the body will “make every effort” to have boxing included in the programs of the 2024 and 2028 Olympic Games.

“We will do everything to make boxing a part of the 2024 and 2028 Olympic Games and no one can exclude us,” Kremlev added, as reported by R-Sport.

“But for us, the IBA World Boxing Championships [in 2023] should be the most important thing, because this is our home. We need people who send children to boxing, and know that this is a ladder that you can climb high.”

Formerly known as AIBA, the IBA was stripped of involvement in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics due to concerns over governance, finances, refereeing and ethics.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will manage boxing at the Paris 2024 competition, but the sport does not feature in the initial program for Los Angeles 2028, with the IBA urged to make swift reforms.

Earlier this month, concerns were raised by IOC sports director Kit McConnell about the IBA being too financially dependent on Russian gas giant Gazprom and Kremlev passing increased power to his Moscow office and away from IBA headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.

“Following these disturbing developments, the IOC {executive board} will have to fully review the situation at its next meeting,” said the IOC after the result of Sunday’s IBA vote.