More boxing turmoil as IBA calls for new presidential election

The International Boxing Association is facing increasing internal turmoil. Four influential members have called for a new board of directors to convene an extraordinary Congress and elect a new president.

Unfortunately, they don’t want the current president of Russian-origin Omar Kremlev not to be involved in the decision, as he says he has a conflict of interest.

The Russian was re-elected president at last month’s congress in Turkey after the only other candidate in the race, Dutchman Boris van der Vorst van was controversially banned from running by the IBA’s interim nominating unit. Several candidates were also deemed ineligible in the election of a new board of directors.

Van der Vorst and three others – Mike McAtee, executive director of USA Boxing, Steve Hartley, CEO of New Zealand Boxing, and Per-Axel Sjoholm, president of the Swedish Boxing Federation – successfully appealed the decision in the Court of Arbitration for the Sport.

In a statement released overnight, the four say they are grateful that the CAS decision has “restored our eligibility, approved our names, and given us the ability to hold leadership positions within the IBA.” ‘

“The CAS ruled that the IBA’s Interim Nomination Unit applied an unfair and inconsistent decision towards us compared to President Kremlev. Simply put, the IBA’s Interim Nomination Unit unfairly removed us from the ballot, the integrity of the electoral process.” and made IBA an example of poor governance at a time when the whole world is watching.

“Recently, the IBA Secretary-General announced that IBA is to determine its response to the decision of the CAS at a meeting of the Board of Directors on June 24, 2022. We believe that this announcement has not been made out of pure goodwill.

“While the CAS does not have the power to explicitly invalidate the IBA elections or mandate a new election, it clearly offered an understanding to the entire world sports community that the democratic process at the IBA Congress in Istanbul should be seriously undermined. was substantially damaged.”

IBA President Kremlev said he would recommend a new election to the board of directors when they meet in Lausanne on Friday.

The statements of the four said that the wrongful removal of Boris van der Vorst from the ballot paper meant that last month’s presidential election was not a “democratic process”.

International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach said at the time that he was “not happy” with what happened.

The four have warned that unless a new and democratic presidential election is held, it will hurt the chances of boxing being reinstated in the Olympic program in 2028.

“One more wrong move in this dire situation can sabotage the Olympic dreams of our boxers. Therefore, we must work together in the most responsible manner to repair the damage caused by the Interim Enrollment Unit’s decision and to avoid constitutional crisis.

“We are prepared to put Olympic-style boxing, the needs of boxers and national federations, above our individual ambitions. Adhering to the Four “C’s” Principles of Leadership; With courage, ability, candor and commitment, we are ready to withdraw our name from the list of candidates for the posts of Independent Directors. This would reduce the need for repeat elections of independent directors.

“We request the Board of Directors, less President Kremlev, who has a direct conflict of interest, to convene an extraordinary congress and presidential election within the minimum constitutionally mandated period and within a maximum of 90 days from June 24, 2022.” so that the legitimacy and integrity of the future IBA’s new presidential election cannot be questioned.

“Before and after the CAS decision, we have received tremendous support from representatives of many of our fellow national federations as well as from the wider Olympic-style boxing community for standing up to unfair governance and historically unjust systems.

“We now look forward to your views and support on this proposal which will help the IBA to escape the constitutional crisis and bring it back on the long path of good governance,” the statement said.