Amateur boxing recently took a hit as the International Olympic Committee said the sport may not resume for the 2024 games in Paris.
Boxing is not included in Los Angeles’ first program for 2028, as the IOC has called for reform of the International Boxing Association, which oversees the amateur ranks.
The IBA is under heavy Russian influence and as a result has been banned from participating in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Umar Kremlev from Moscow runs IBA, which is funded by Russian energy company Gazprom. Regarding Kremlev and Gazprom’s involvement, the IOC statement reads:
“Recent IBA competitions have shown once again that the IBA has no real interest in boxing or the sport of boxers, but only in their own strength.”
“The decisions and arguments that keep boxers out of the Olympic qualifiers and the Olympic Games cannot be understood any other way.”
“The extension of the sponsorship agreement with Gazprom as the sole main sponsor of the IBA reinforces concerns that the IOC has repeatedly expressed since 2019.”
Earlier this year there was talk of the IBA conducting presidential elections, but this was flatly defeated in parliament in September, allowing Kremlev to take the helm.
Boris van der Forst was expected to be Kremlev’s main rival if elections were held, and the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruling deemed the Dutchman unfairly barred from running.
In a statement, the IOC clarified that the cancellation of elections is a factor that could rule out boxing’s return to the 2028 Olympics.
“The IOC will have to take all of this into account when making further decisions and may need to include the cancellation of boxing for the 2024 Paris Olympics after these latest developments.”
In the past, the Olympics have helped star amateurs like Floyd Mayweather, Claressa Shields, Oleksandr Usyk, and Anthony Joshua turn pro and reach superstardom.