We will not hesitate to pursue disciplinary cases: AIBA chief

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The International Boxing Association (AIBA) has committed to carefully consider and fully implement the recommendations of Professor Richard McLaren’s report published as part of his ongoing investigation into boxing.

McLaren’s latest report reviews the Rio 2016 Olympic boxing tournament and more recent competitions up to and including the AIBA World Boxing Championships 2021 in Belgrade.

“AIBA is on the right track in terms of sports integrity, but still needs to make much more progress. To help achieve this, we will continue to turn to independent experts. For AIBA, these are the overall lessons coming out of Professor McLaren’s work,” AIBA president Umar Kremlev said in a statement.

“We will not hesitate to pursue disciplinary cases where there is sufficient evidence. We are already implementing some of the recommendations Professor McLaren has made. And we are very serious about making sure that fair fights are ensured by a powerful combination of regulations, processes, people and culture.”

McLaren’s team have assessed evidence and pointed to areas of concern involving individuals still associated with AIBA. AIBA has shown a commitment, recognised by McLaren, to ensuring that officials involved in questionable practices are no longer involved with AIBA tournaments.

AIBA’s integrity officers will now carefully examine scope for further exclusions based on the report’s findings.

“At the recent AIBA World Boxing Championships 2021, McLaren and his team were onsite to participate in new initiatives to make sure that fights are refereed and judged fairly. Officials in whom we could not have full confidence were excluded. They have no place in boxing,” continued President Kremlev.

“I am grateful for the Professor’s recognition that the World Championships were a break from the past and a sign of a better future. AIBA is determined to deliver just such a future.”

Professor McLaren has also cooperated with Professor Ulrich Haas, whose team has worked in parallel to develop key governance reforms. These reforms will serve as the basis of future stability and sporting integrity for AIBA.

For example, the latest McLaren report gives examples of how an independent Boxing Integrity Unit should serve the sport in the future. The establishment of such a Unit, already proposed by Professor Haas’s team, has already been approved by the AIBA Board of Directors.

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