A woman holds a poster in support of boxing at the Olympics Games on the sidelines of the Executive Board meeting, in front of the Olympic House, in Lausanne, Switzerland, on December 5, 2022.

A woman holds a poster in support of boxing at the Olympics Games on the sidelines of the Executive Board meeting, in front of the Olympic House, in Lausanne, Switzerland, on December 5, 2022. (Photo by DENIS BALIBOUSE / POOL / AFP)

Olympic chiefs have upheld a ban on the International Boxing Association (IBA), insisting that the “drastic change of culture” requested in order to lift the suspension has not been implemented.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has ongoing concerns over the IBA’s governance, financial transparency and sustainability, and the integrity of its refereeing and judging processes.

IOC sports director Kit McConnell said the IOC Executive Board (EB) had sent another letter, after a first in September, listing its concerns to the IBA.

“As a result, the IOC is not in a position today to reverse its stance with regard to the suspension of IBA’s recognition,” he said.

The IBA was suspended by the IOC in 2019 for multiple corruption scandals, meaning boxing risks disappearing as an Olympic sport after Paris 2024.

Boxing went ahead in the COVID-delayed Tokyo Olympics after the IOC stepped in to ensure the qualification criteria. The same will happen for Paris 2024.

But there was a sharp warning for the sport beyond then.

“Boxing is currently not included in the initial sports program of the Olympic Games Los Angeles 2028,” the IOC letter to the IBA read.

“If a decision had to be taken today regarding the Olympic Games Los Angeles 2028, the IOC EB would not be able to recommend the IOC Session to include boxing in the sports program under the authority of the IBA as IBA has not demonstrated that it has successfully addressed the ongoing concerns around its governance, its financial transparency and sustainability and the integrity of its refereeing and judging processes.”

The IOC said it would continue to monitor the evolution of IBA’s “practices and activities as well as of the boxing community at large, and, on the basis of the developments, will consider taking a decision regarding IBA’s recognition at the appropriate time”.

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