IOC sports director Kit McConnell expressed his concerns over the IBA's governance ©Getty Images

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has said it continues to have "grave concerns" over the International Boxing Association's (IBA) governance, delivering another big blow to boxing’s hopes of remaining as an Olympic sport.

A letter from the IOC has been sent to IBA President Umar Kremlev outlining their issues with the running of the organisation following a report by the Governance Review Group, led by Swiss Professor Ulrich Haas.

The IBA’s "financial dependency" on Russian state-owned Gazprom, an "increased" role of the Presidential office in Moscow and the early termination of Haas' team were among the concerns expressed by the IOC in the letter.

"Boxing is currently not included in the sports programme of the Olympic Games Los Angeles 2028," the letter read.

"Considering the absence of a real evolution, the IOC Executive Board is not in a position to reverse this decision and will continue to monitor with grave concerns IBA’s governance."

The IBA had its IOC recognition withdrawn in June 2019 due to concerns over judging and refereeing, financial stability and governance, leading to the IOC Boxing Task Force handling the sport at Tokyo 2020.

It has also been stripped of rights to organise boxing events at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games due to ongoing concerns and its Presidential election is set to be re-run later this month following the controversial meeting in May.

Kit McConnell, the IOC’s sports director, said the organisation’s Executive Board was informed that recommendations made by the Governance Review Group had not been "fully and practically implemented in an administrative and managerial way."

 IBA President Umar Kremlev has been issued a letter by the IOC which questioned the
IBA President Umar Kremlev has been issued a letter by the IOC which questioned the "increased" role of his office in Moscow ©IBA

He highlighted that there was "no operating boxing independent integrity unit" and "no comprehensive background checks" on the candidates for elections.

"There were some issues in regard to the President’s office of the IBA," said McConnell.

"The recommendations were clear to avoid a strong Presidential office outside the administrative office in Lausanne.

"In contrary to that we have seen the secretary general have their contract ended and we have seen other contracts ended with external advisors in areas of communication and external auditors.

"In terms of building a stronger office here in Lausanne, this has in fact been stripped away with the centralised President’s office in Moscow and being strengthened in terms of the administrative base of the federation.

"What is of greater concern is that the governance reform group itself has had its contract ended and they are unable to continue with the monitoring and assisting and full implementation of the recommendation that they have put forward.

"All this adds to a clear picture regarding the very grave concerns that continue in regards to the governance of the IBA and the messages that sends around a change in culture in the federation."

Boxing's place at the Olympic Games remains in jeopardy as the IOC continues to raise concerns over the running of the IBA ©Getty Images
Boxing's place at the Olympic Games remains in jeopardy as the IOC continues to raise concerns over the running of the IBA ©Getty Images

McConnell said the IOC was also concerned that the IBA had failed to find new sources of revenue outside of Gazprom.

"This has not been mitigated in the information we have received so far, it has only been exacerbated or worsened by the fact that a number of bank accounts used for those payments are subject to sanctions in the current environment," said McConnell.

Refereeing and judging was another area that the IOC has demanded improvements from the IBA following the controversy surrounding the officiating at Rio 2016.

McConnell said there had been "no proven manipulation" of results at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games but added that there were "some challenges around competition management."

The IBA is set to stage its Extraordinary Congress on September 25 in Yerevan in Armenia where incumbent Kremlev is due to be challenged by Dutch Boxing Federation President Boris van der Vorst.

Kremlev was elected unopposed at the last Extraordinary Congress in Istanbul in May after his only rival, van der Vorst, was declared ineligible to stand by the Boxing Independent Integrity Unit who ruled that him and four Board of Directors candidates had allegedly broken rules on breaches of collaboration between candidates and early campaigning.

But, following an appeal, the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled that van der Vorst should have been allowed to stand, adding that a formal warning or no sanction at all would have been sufficient.

insidethegames has contacted the IBA for comment.