Olympics Boxing 2020 Ban: Speculations On Corruption And Crime Causes Concern For The Sport

The federal government intervenes as well.

Claressa Shields, of the United States, left, reacts after she was given the victory over the Yenebier Guillen Benitez at the Pan Am games.
Julio Cortez / AP Images, File

The federal government intervenes as well.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has given the boxing industry a grave warning since there is a big concern about the governing body in boxing. If the investigation proves that there’s a coordination between managers and players, boxing may be banned in the Tokyo Olympics 2020.

According to The Sun, the allegations have been taken into serious consideration and the IOC has already frozen financial assets given to the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA).

The IOC noted their dissatisfaction with the AIBA’s reporting on the committee’s “governance, refereeing, and anti-doping issues,” so they will open a bigger investigation on April 30.

The IOC did not mention if there were whistleblowers who came forward, but the initial reports have given them cause to be concerned about possible match-fixing.

At the same time, it did not help that Olympic Boxing President Gafur Rakhimov has been tied to an organized crime syndicate. According to ESPN, Rakhimov was promoted Saturday after the “unexpected resignation” of interim leader Franco Falcinelli. Rakhimov’s reputation also caused a stir since he was described by one boxing official as “one of Uzbekistan’s leading criminals.”

The U.S. Treasury Department supports this notion as they have found that Rakhimov may be a top criminal involved in car theft, the heroin trade, and other crimes.

Executive Committee member Pat Fiacco said that the AIBA still needs to “follow the statutes” and continue with Rakhimov since, they claim, that he only has positive contributions to the organization.

Thomas Bach IOC President
Thomas Bach, IOC president. Ker Robertson / Getty Images

“There is nothing negative that the executive committee can say,” Fiacco said.

However, the U.S. federal government disagrees.

“The Thieves-in-Law has grown into a vast criminal organization which has spread throughout the former Soviet Union, Europe, and the United States, engaging in a variety of crimes, such as money laundering, extortion, bribery, and robbery.”

However, even with the claims against Rakhimov, the entire AIBA stands by him. The AIBA said that the IOC’s decision was disappointing, but the entire organization, including Rakhimov, said they will cooperate with the government and IOC ” to restore confidence in AIBA’s financial management and in its integrity.”

Falcinelli said that he believes in his successor and has faith that Rakhimov will be able to bring AIBA’s glory back and have boxing participate in the Tokyo Olympics.

“I am confident that he will provide the leadership to restore AIBA to greatness.”