More boxing turmoil as IBA calls for new presidential election

The International Boxing Association faces growing internal unrest. Four influential members called on the new Board of Directors, which is meeting tomorrow, to convene an extraordinary Congress and organize a new presidential election.

Significantly, they want current Russian President Umar Kremlev not involved in the decision, as they say he has a conflict of interest.

The Russian was re-elected president by acclamation at last month’s Congress in Turkey after the only other candidate in the race, Dutchman Boris van der Vorst Van was controversial by the IBA’s interim nominating unit. A number of candidates for election as new board directors were also deemed ineligible.

Van der Vorst and three others – Mike McAtee, executive director of American boxing, Steve Hartley, CEO of New Zealand boxing, and Swedish Boxing Federation president Per-Axel Sjöholm – have successfully appealed the decision. before the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

In a statement released overnight, the four said they were grateful that the CAS decision “restored our eligibility, cleared our names and restored our ability to hold leadership positions within IBA”.

“The CAS ruled that the IBA Acting Appointments Unit applied unfair and inconsistent judgment to us, compared to President Kremlev. Simply put, the IBA Acting Appointments Unit unfairly removed us ballot, undermining the integrity of the electoral process and making the IBA an example of poor governance at a time when the whole world is watching,” the statement read.

“Recently, IBA’s Secretary General announced that IBA will determine its response to the CAS decision at the June 24, 2022 Board meeting. We believe this announcement was not made out of sheer goodwill. will.

“Although the CAS does not have the power to explicitly invalidate the IBA elections or to mandate a new election, it has made it clear to the entire global sporting community that the democratic process has been seriously damaged. at the IBA Congress in Istanbul.”

IBA President Kremlev said he would recommend the board to hold a new election when it meets in Lausanne on Friday.

The statement from the four says Boris van der Vorst’s unjustified removal from the ballot meant last month’s presidential election had not been “a democratic process”.

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said at the time “he was not amused” by what had happened.

The four warn that unless a new democratic presidential election is held, it will hurt the prospect of restoring boxing to the Olympic program in 2028.

“Another false step in this critical situation can destroy the Olympic dreams of our boxers. Therefore, we must act together in the most responsible way to repair the damage caused by the decision of the Interim Appointing Unit and avoid a constitutional crisis.

“We are prepared to put the needs of Olympic boxing, boxers and national federations above our own personal ambitions. In accordance with the four “C” principles of leadership; courage, competence, frankness and commitment, we are ready to withdraw our names from the list of candidates for the positions of independent directors. This would reduce the need for repeat elections of independent directors.

“We ask the Board of Directors, minus President Kremlev, who has a direct conflict of interest, to vote to call an extraordinary congress and a presidential election within the constitutionally minimum and maximum period of 90 days from June 24, 2022 , so that the legitimacy and integrity of the new IBA presidential election cannot be called into question in the future.

“Before and after the CAS verdict, we received tremendous support from many representatives of our other National Federations as well as the wider Olympic-style boxing community to oppose poor governance and abuses. historically unjust systems.

“We now hope that you will consider and support this proposal which will help IBA avoid a constitutional crisis and put it back on the long path of a return to good governance,” the statement said.

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