Verification committee eliminates candidate ahead of boxing election
The incumbent Russian presidential challenger to the struggling International Boxing Association was declared ineligible on Thursday, a day before the vote.
Dutch boxing federation president Boris van der Vorst was barred from Friday’s election by an independent candidate selection committee after an investigation into complaints including allegations of “prohibited collaboration” and campaigning, a the IBA said in a statement.
Four other candidates to join the IBA Board of Directors were also deemed ineligible.
The decisions of the interim appointing unit of five people working on behalf of the IBA can be challenged before the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the boxing governing body said.
An appeal would have barely 24 hours to be filed, heard and judged in court before the election scheduled for Friday on the sidelines of the women’s world championships in Istanbul, Turkey.
This is the third presidential election for the controversial boxing body in less than four years, a period marked by open conflict with the International Olympic Committee.
IBA President Umar Kremlev is running for re-election amid widespread sanctions imposed on Russian sports by Olympic governing bodies during the country’s war in Ukraine. The IOC is also concerned that the IBA now appears financially dependent on the Kremlin-backed energy company Gazprom.
The boxing body has been regularly criticized by the IOC in recent years over the integrity of governance and finances, and potentially inappropriate judging of fights at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
The rebranded IBA was known by the acronym AIBA when it was stripped of its recognition by the IOC ahead of the Tokyo Olympics. Boxing’s place in the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics is also in doubt.
The IOC has warned boxing officials around the world against electing its last two presidents: Kremlev in 2020 and Gafur Rakhimov in 2018. Rakhimov was on a US Treasury Department sanctions list for alleged ties to international heroin trafficking, which he denied.
The independent panel excluded Van der Vorst – who lost in previous elections to the Kremlev – and the other four leaders of a group called the Common Cause Alliance.
The five-person panel includes a former CAS legal adviser, a lawyer who represented the Australian Olympic Committee and Roberto Cammarelle, the 2008 Olympic champion in the super heavyweight category.
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