The International Boxing Association has published its Olympic qualification system for Paris 2024 ©Getty Images

The International Boxing Association (IBA) has revealed its own qualification system for next year’s Olympics in Paris, despite being stripped of the rights to do so by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The IOC announced in June last year that it would take over the running of boxing events at Paris 2024, including qualification competitions, due to concerns over governance issues within the organisation.

The IBA, led by Russian official Umar Kremlev, announced it had now "taken upon itself as the international governing body for boxing to provide a clear process and pathway" for athletes to qualify for the Games after criticising the IOC for "numerous delays" on publishing a "clear" system.

This year’s IBA Women’s and Men’s World Championships have not been included in the revised criteria ratified by the IOC Executive Board last September with the continental multi-sport events instead set used as Olympic qualifiers.

The IBA said the IOC’s decision to exclude the two World Championships was "not acceptable" and "against the principles of boxing", insisting that they will be the “main qualification events" under its own qualification system.

"The announcement of the IBA OQS [Olympic qualification system] for Paris 2024, is a necessary step to protect our athletes as the IOC proposed qualification process consisting of one competition is not acceptable and fair for the athletes," a statement from IBA read.

"The IBA reiterates its openness to cooperate with the IOC for the benefit of the boxing, its athletes, and the stability and quality of the Olympic Games product."

The IBA, led by Umar Kremlev, has criticised the IOC for failing to provide a
The IBA, led by Umar Kremlev, has criticised the IOC for failing to provide a "clear" qualification system for next year's Olympics ©Getty Images

The IBA is looking to use the criteria which had been approved by the IOC in April 2022, insisting that "no other qualification process for Paris 2024 will be accepted".

The Women's Boxing World Championships are scheduled for March 15 to 26 in New Delhi in India, followed by the Men's World Championships in Tashkent in Uzbekistan from May 1 to 14.

Under IBA’s system, the Championships run by IBA’s five continental bodies will also be used as Olympic qualifiers, as well as three Golden Belt Series events and a final qualification event, scheduled to be held in the United Arab Emirates in May next year.

A total of 248 quota places will be available, with 124 for men and 124 for women.

In response to the release of the IBA's Olympic qualification criteria, the IOC has reiterated that the International Federation will not be involved in the running of the Paris 2024's boxing qualifications and tournament.

"The only valid boxing qualification system for Paris 2024 is the one approved by the IOC EB in September 2022, published and distributed to NOCs and boxing National Federations on 6 December 2022," the IOC told insidethegames.

"Following an investigation and report by an IOC Inquiry Committee in 2019, recognition of the International Boxing Association was suspended by the IOC. 

"This suspension is still in force today."

The release of the qualification system comes at a time when a growing number of nations are pulling out of the Women's World Championships in protest at boxers from Russia and Belarus being allowed to compete under their own flags, despite the war in Ukraine, as well as concerns under the direction the organisation is moving under Kremlev.

Switzerland and The Netherlands were the latest countries yesterday to pull out of the IBA flagship event.

The USA Boxing was the first national governing body which opted against sending team to next month’s Women’s World Championships and the Men’s World Boxing Championships in May.

Ireland, Czech Republic, Canada and Sweden have since publicly declared their intention to follow suit, as well as Britain from the upcoming Women's World Championships as a minimum.

Boxing's place at the Olympic Games is at risk due to the IOC's concerns over the IBA's governance issues ©Getty Images
Boxing's place at the Olympic Games is at risk due to the IOC's concerns over the IBA's governance issues ©Getty Images

The IBA has pledged to provide financial assistance for athletes from boycotted nations to compete at the Women's and Men's World Championships, insisting that they should not be liable to "any political games".

George Yerolimpos, secretary general and chief executive for the IBA, claimed that the decisions made by the National Federations have been made in a "vacuum" and "did not reflect" the views of their athletes, coaches and officials.

"The confusion and misinformation within these National Federations has resulted in a steady stream of complaints from athletes, coaches, technical officials, and administrators that do not support this decision and need immediate support in making sure they can attend these events," Yerolimpos wrote in a letter.

The IBA, then known as AIBA, 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.

The organisation’s renewal of a sponsorship deal with Russian majority-state owned energy giant Gazprom has prompted a warning from the IOC that boxing could be dropped altogether from Paris 2024, having already been left off the initial programme for Los Angeles 2028.

Under the IOC’s boxing qualification model, the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games, Kraków-Małopolska 2023 European Games, Solomon Islands 2023 Pacific Games and the delayed Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games are set to be used as qualifiers.

The Accra 2023 African Games are also expected to become a qualification event, although an agreement has yet to be made between the IOC and the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa.

Following the continental phase, the IOC plans to stage two world qualification tournaments in 2024 where the remaining quota places will be determined before the Olympics are staged in Paris.

The full IBA qualification system can be read here.