Mohamed Moustasane has been elected interim President of the International Boxing Association ©AIBA

Mohamed Moustahsane has been elected Interim President of the International Boxing Association (AIBA) by 23 votes to zero, with two abstentions.

His election comes a week after Gafur Rakhimov announced he would step down amid an International Olympic Committee (IOC) inquiry into the embattled organisation.

insidethegames first reported African Boxing Confederation head Moustahsane would be appointed Rakhimov’s replacement last Friday (March 23).

The appointment of the 50-year-old, a qualified doctor, was a formality as he was the only one of five vice-presidents put forward for the role.

Rakhimov was elected permanent President of AIBA in November last year, a move which threw into doubt boxing’s Olympic position as the Uzbek is listed by the United States Treasury Department as one of the country’s “leading criminals”.

AIBA hope his decision to step down will appease the IOC, an organisation which had publicly labelled Rakhimov’s election a concern, but it is considered possible he could return once the IOC inquiry finishes or if he is cleared of wrongdoing.

New elections have not been called, so it is not clear how long Moustahsane will serve for.

In a brief statement, AIBA said Moustahsane had replaced Rakhimov after the latter stood aside “pending the resolution of some political issues”.

Yesterday, Russian AIBA Executive Committee member Umar Kremlev said he would clear the governing body’s $16 million (£12 million/€14 million) debt if AIBA is allowed to remain in charge of the Olympic tournament at Tokyo 2020.

Mohamed Moustahsane replaces Gafur Rakhimov, who announced his intention to step down last week ©Getty Images
Mohamed Moustahsane replaces Gafur Rakhimov, who announced his intention to step down last week ©Getty Images

The proposal was put forward in a letter sent to IOC President Thomas Bach and Nenad Lalović, chairman of the inquiry into AIBA.

A spokesperson for the Boxing Federation of Russia (BFR) claimed Kremlev would use his own money and "investments" to finance the move to wipe AIBA's debt, an offer AIBA executive director Tom Virgets thanked him for.

AIBA officials are set to meet the Russian to further discuss the offer.

The probe being conducted by the IOC, mainly triggered by the election of Rakhimov as President last year, could lead to AIBA being stripped of the right to organise the Olympic boxing tournament at Tokyo 2020.

Should the IOC choose to prevent AIBA's involvement, it would stop the troubled governing body from receiving Olympic funding, which Virgets has openly admitted it needs to survive.

AIBA is set to learn its fate when a final report from the Inquiry Committee is published on May 22.

An interim report from the IOC Ad-hoc Committee was presented to the IOC Executive Board earlier this week.

The IOC refused to comment on the recommendations or details of the report, revealing only that the full document would be given to the Executive Board at its next meeting in Lausanne.

Yesterday, Virgets claimed the delay caused by the lack of a formal decision from the IOC was a "complete disaster for boxers around the world who are being left in limbo without any support or access funding".

AIBA claimed it was "very surprising that the IOC are unable to provide a conclusive decision regarding boxing’s Olympic future at this time".

The organisation claimed the IOC had given AIBA assurances that an official hearing and inquiry would be made before the Executive Board meeting but instead had demonstrated "indifference towards the process and preparation of athletes for the Games".

Insidethegames has contacted the IOC for comment on Moustahsane’s appointment.

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