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IOC threatens to drop boxing from the Paris Olympics

A woman holds a sign in support of boxing at the Olympics Games during the the Executive Board meeting of the International Olympic Committee outside the an IOC building in Lausanne, Switzerland, Dec. 5, 2022.Denis Balibouse/Associated Press

Frustrated with corruption allegations and an increasingly adversarial relationship with the organization that runs global boxing, the International Olympic Committee is considering dropping the sport from the 2024 Paris Summer Olympics.

In a statement provided to The Washington Post, the IOC blasted the International Boxing Association and its president, Umar Kremlev.

“It has also become clear again, that IBA wants to distract from its own grave governance issues by pointing to the past, which has been addressed by the IOC already in 2019,” the IOC statement read, in part. " . . . The IOC will have to take all this into consideration when it takes further decisions, which may — after these latest developments — have to include the cancellation of boxing for the Olympic Games Paris 2024.”


The statement comes days after Kremlev attacked the IOC’s refusal to include boxing in the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics unless the IBA makes significant reforms after a match-fixing scandal at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

“They have no right to dictate to us how to live,” Kremlev said at IBA’s Global Boxing Forum in Abu Dhabi last week. “No other organization should interfere or meddle in the business of our association.”

Kremlev, who was elected in 2020, has been accused of centralizing the IBA’s power in his native Russia, spending heavily on marketing that appears to promote himself and depending too heavily on the IBA’s lone sponsor, the Russian energy company Gazprom.

The statement follows an odd two-week period in which the IBA sent a delegation to the IOC’s headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, asking for boxing to be added to the Los Angeles Games only to see Kremlev unload on the IOC days later and suggest the organization might move away from the Olympics.