Finnish and Swedish boxers will be unable to compete at events where Russians and Belarusians are present ©Getty Images

The Swedish Boxing Federation and Finnish Boxing Federation have confirmed they will boycott events where Russian and Belarusian fighters are present.

The move could be the start of a large-scale protest with others anticipated to join in opposition to the International Boxing Association (IBA) Board of Directors' decision to overturn the suspension of Russia and Belarus.

Boxing has become the first Olympic sport to allow athletes from the two countries to return under their national flag, despite the war in Ukraine continuing.

Swedish Boxing Federation President Per-Axel Sjöholm, a critic of Russian IBA President Umar Kremlev, told SVT Sport it is a "scandal" and it is "completely unacceptable" the nations have been allowed back.

Meanwhile, Marko Laine, the chief executive of the Finnish Boxing Federation, expressed his sadness that athletes are now being impacted.

Boycotts are unlikely to occur at the upcoming Women's European Championships because the European Boxing Confederation (EUBC) has insisted the entry list has already closed.

However, the EUBC has confirmed it will follow the IBA's lead and allow Russian and Belarusian participation at its events, displaying the ramifications the IBA's decision will have as federations decide on their stance.

Aware of this, former Ukrainian professional boxer Wladimir Klitschko took to Twitter condemn the global body.

"Can you knock yourself out?" he wrote.


"@IBA_Boxing is an example and makes a fool of itself in front of the whole world by trampling on humanistic and universal values.

"Boxing deserves much better.

"What a shame."

Klitschko is a former world heavyweight champion, and won gold for his country at the Atlanta 1996 Olympics in the super-heavyweight category.