Anastasiia Shamonova, right, competed for Russia under the country's flag ©IBA

Russia's Anastasiia Shamonova and Tarkhan Idigov were victorious on the first day of the International Boxing Association's (IBA) Golden Belt Series in Marrakesh as they fought under the country's flag and anthem.

The event at M'hamid has 23 athletes registered to compete as Russians, despite recommendations for them to feature as neutrals due to the war in Ukraine.

Shamonova defeated Australia's Caitlin-Anne Parker in the women's under-75-kilogram category via a judges' points decision.

Her compatriot Tarkhan Idigov also took to the ring where he won by a unanimous decision over Moroccan home favourite Oussama Rabii in the men's under-67kg competition.

It is the first time that Russians have been able to compete not as neutrals since the country was handed a four-year ban from all major sporting events by the World Anti-Doping Agency in 2019, following state-sponsored doping.

The tournament in Morocco is a stage of the IBA's World Boxing Tour which features golden, silver, and bronze belt events.

Also on Russia's team is Tokyo 2020 silver medallist in the men's under-92kg class Muslim Gadzhimagomedov and men's under-80kg fighter Imam Khataev who won bronze at the Games.

"All the guys have a great attitude," men's head coach Viktor Farkhutdinov said, as reported by Russia's official state news agency TASS.

"It was not easy to get there, with three transfers, but it's nothing.

"We will have strong rivals, many winners and prize winners of the World Cup have come to Morocco."

IBA President Umar Kremlev also took part in the All-Russian Boxing Forum today.

The event, organised by the Russian Boxing Federation, saw more than 500 delegates from 85 regional bodies gather in Serpukhov.

"I think that such forums should be held by federations in all sports," Kremlev said.  

"The forum is an opportunity for athletes and coaches to communicate directly with sports functionaries, as well as with each other.

"This is necessary in order to understand who has what difficulties, how they can be solved. After all, the duty of any functionary is to create conditions for the athlete.

"The athlete should always be at the forefront.

"Everything should revolve around him, including the media.

"The development of sport as a whole depends entirely on how it is promoted.

"At the same time, we must keep pace with modern requirements.

"Because the media is constantly changing and, as a result, the work of promoting boxing is changing.

IBA President Umar Kremlev, second from right, travelled to Serpukhov to speak at the All-Russian Boxing Forum ©Boxing Federation of Russia
IBA President Umar Kremlev, second from right, travelled to Serpukhov to speak at the All-Russian Boxing Forum ©Boxing Federation of Russia

"At this forum, we should discuss what has been done, what issues have been resolved.

"Assess in general how effectively the Russian Boxing Federation works.

"We must understand what difficulties appeared in 2022 in order to eliminate them this year."

The IBA has been stripped of any involvement at the Olympic Games in Paris due to the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) concerns over its governance under Russian Umar Kremlev.

The IOC warned last month that boxing could be dropped altogether in the French capital following a controversial renewal of a lucrative contract with Russian majority state-owned energy giant Gazprom.

The governing body has been suspended by the IOC since 2019 when it was then known as AIBA, meaning it was not involved in the boxing tournament at Tokyo 2020.

As it stands, boxing currently remains off the programme for Los Angeles 2028.