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With AIBA’s Congress just around the corner, I would like to take this opportunity to provide you with a full update regarding AIBA’s ongoing projects and recent activities. Since we have met at our Extraordinary Congress, several initiatives have been taken and new policies have been implemented with regards to governance, organisational ethics and diversity.

AIBA’s leadership and the entire AIBA staff have been working tirelessly to bring positive change and move our organisation forward, ensuring a bright future for our sport and athletes. I would like to thank each and every one of you for the great support and commitment you showed during this period.

Through this report, it is my pleasure to provide the entire boxing community with insights on AIBA’s situation, as of today:

Key Meetings and Events (period covered: April – July 2018):

  • April 5th: Women Commission Meeting
  • April 25th: Second report submitted to IOC
  • June 3rd: 1st AIBA EC Bureau Meeting with participation of several additional Vice Presidents
  • June 4th-5th: 1st TF Team Meeting for “Mixed Double Boxing” – New Competition Development
  • June 8th- 9th: Coaches Commission Meeting
  • July 12th- 13th: Annual Executive Committee Meeting 2018/2019
  • July 11th-14th: Second TF Team Meeting for “Mixed Double Boxing” – New Competition Development
  • July 31st: Interim President’s visit to the AIBA HQs Office

 

AIBA’s financial situation:

  • In July, AIBA and Benkons signed a “Settlement Agreement” that allowed AIBA to avoid bankruptcy. According to this agreement, out of AIBA’s total debt of USD 10 million, USD 2 million will be returned to Benkons via sponsorship. The agreement was approved during the EC meeting in July. Further discussions will be held for another USD 3 million to be also covered through sponsorship, which will significantly improve AIBA’s financial situation.
  • AIBA signed an agreement with FCIT to create a new joint venture to manage the marketing programs of both AIBA and WSB, as a result this has removed the CHF 19 million burden from the shoulders of AIBA. The agreement was approved and signed during the EC meeting in July.
  • AIBA is currently discussing with several additional investors/sponsors regarding the marketing rights for the “Mixed Double Boxing”, a new competition initiative. This new initiative has been approved by the EC and will be presented at the Congress.
  • AIBA received the final forensic investigation report from the K2 Intelligence Company, which reviewed both AIBA and WSB Finances. In addition, K2 was also mandated to investigate all financial issues related to the former President’s office in Chinese Taipei. The report was presented at the EC meeting and a copy of the report was also given to IOC. Among the findings were disturbing facts related to past mismanagement, as such AIBA is currently considering next steps with its legal experts. In addition, the AIBA Ethics Commission will have an opportunity to fully review the report and present its recommendations to the AIBA EC and Congress.

 

Reports to IOC and its Position:
Three reports have been submitted to the IOC, on the following dates:

  • January 31st, 2018
  • April 25th , 2018
  • July 6th, 2018

In addition to receiving our young boxers at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, I am very proud to report that, following its EB meeting in July, the IOC Executive Board has sent a letter acknowledging AIBA’s progress in several areas – including the work with the ASOIF Governance Task Force, the completion of our new Foundation Plan, the finalization of the Tokyo 2020 weight categories, the support of the engagement of the independent monitoring of the boxing competitions at the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018, the transition to the International Testing Agency (ITA) and our improved finances.

You can watch IOC President’s brief report on AIBA during the press conference held on July 20th via the following link: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=PvV0RcpI7a8 (starting from 16:45min). In addition, President Bach responds to several question related to AIBA (from 32:50min). I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Executive Committee, Executive Director and our consulting company, Burson-Marsteller Sport, for their commitment and support in improving AIBA’s situation within the Olympic Movement.

 

The “New Foundation Plan”:
AIBA’s leadership and Burson-Marsteller Sport have been working hard to develop the “New Foundation Plan”, designed to strengthen AIBA’s governance, competition rules, development programs, external and internal communication, and the staging of world class events. It has been fully approved by the EC meeting and is in full swing. It is available online, through AIBA’s website here.

 

Progress on AIBA Statutes Amendments:
Following the Extraordinary Congress, serious amendments have been made to the AIBA statutes in order to “Rebuild AIBA, Rebuild Boxing”. The Ad-Hoc Committee and our Legal Counsel reviewed the draft proposal and presented it to the AIBA Executive Committee. It was approved by the EC on July 13th.

The Statutes Amendment proposal, along with the Bylaws Amendment Proposal will be sent to all National Federations one month prior to the Congress. The idea is to ensure your inputs are considered and that the boxing community is part of the process. The final draft will be presented during the Congress upon EC approval.

 

New Competition Initiative Progress:
In line with the intention to foster Gender Equality and the development of Women’s boxing, AIBA decided to develop a new competition concept called the “Mixed Double Boxing”, where both men and women will compete during the same match. It has been first approved by the EC Bureau and then by the Executive Committee, with the aim of launching the first competition next year.

A Task Force Team has been appointed, led by AIBA Vice President, Mr Osvaldo Bisbal to develop the regulation and future competition system. The entire concept will be presented during the Congress.

 

Progress on “Diversity In Boxing” Program (DIB):
A total of USD 1.2 million has been budgeted to assist National Federations with regards to various programs. Already several application were approved by AIBA.

In addition, the Executive Committee also agreed to provide the Caribbean region with financial support in order to develop boxing programs. A total amount of USD 300,000 will be provided over a three-year period.

 

Establishment of the AIBA Technical School:
I believe that the performance of our athletes and the transparent judging of our officials during competitions are key to the success of AIBA’s future.
Therefore, together with the entire Executive Committee, we have decided to create the Centralized Training and Certification Institute. The purpose of this Technical School will be to provide AIBA Coaches and Officials (including R&Js) with streamlined training to ensure that we have competent and trusted individuals in our sport at the grassroots level all the way to elite level.

In order to ensure that this initiative is successful, it is being led under the guidance of AIBA Executive Vice President, Mr Franco Falcinelli. Over the last two months Mr Falcinelli and his team have been working on a detailed business plan. It is in the process of being approved by the Executive Committee.

 

Preparations for Major Competitions in 2018:

  • AIBA Youth Men’s and Women’s World Championships: Everything is on track for the event to be held in Budapest, starting the 20th of August.
  • 2018 Jakarta Asian Games: The boxing competition will be held from August 24th to September 1st, 2018.
  • 2018 Youth Olympic Games: A total of 82 Men and Women young boxers will compete this year at the Youth Olympic Games. The event will be held from October 6th – 18th in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
  • 2018 Women’s World Championships: This event will be held from November 15th in New Delhi immediately after the AIBA Congress. We are in the process of selecting all ITOs and R&Js for this event.

I look forward to meeting all our National Federations during these events and further discuss with you about AIBA’s current situation and future plans, as I am very interested in hearing your ideas and opinions about the future of our organisation and our sport as a whole.

 

Status of the AIBA 2019 World Championships:
The AIBA 2019 Men’s World Championships was awarded to Russia in July 2017, at the time there were no other bid applications put forth and a different WADA Code was in place. Since this time, WADA has been insistent on trying to relocate the event, however AIBA is working very hard to maintain its decision. Following recent communication with WADA, discussions continue to progress and additional input will be received from WADA in September.

 

1st AIBA Gender Equality Forum:
I am pleased to inform you that we will host the first ever AIBA Gender Equality Forum on September 16th – 18th in Sofia, Bulgaria. This Forum will focus on boosting further development of women’s involvement in our sport in different areas and positions.

This Forum will also contribute to our efforts in promoting diversity and women’s boxing. I would be very glad to see as many of you as possible participating to this forum as it is a topic of utmost importance for our organisation.

If you have any question, please contact, Ms. Emilia Grueva, AIBA Women’s Commission Chairperson, at: e_grueva@yahoo.com.

The 2018 Joint Commission Meeting will also be held at the same time in order to give the possibility to our Commission members to participate to the Forum and learn more about the Gender Equality trends in the global sports and within the Olympic movement.

 

Visit to AIBA HQs Office in Lausanne:
On July 31st, I had the great chance to meet with AIBA’s staff and discuss the future of our organisation during my visit to AIBA’s HQs in Lausanne. During this visit, a full review of on-going projects was made, including the plans for the future of the organisation as well as updates on AIBA’s major upcoming events such as the 2018 Youth Men’s & Women’s World Championships, the 2018 Buenos Aires Youth Olympic Games and the 2018 Women’s World Championships.

This was a great opportunity to get valuable insights from the team, and I, once again, would like to thank each member of AIBA staff for their hard work and strong commitment to the organisation.

 

My Travel Plans for Events and Meetings:
During the upcoming months, I am pleased to be focusing on all my efforts on boxing and as such I will be attending the following events:

  • Opening Ceremony and the Boxing Finals of the 2018 Asian Games to be held in Jakarta, Indonesia (August)
  • AIBA Youth Men’s and Women’s World Boxing Championships and the EUBC Executive Committee Meeting to be held in Budapest, Hungary (August)
  • 1st AIBA Gender Equality Forum and the AIBA Joint Commission Meeting to be held in Sofia, Bulgaria (September)
  • Youth Olympic Games to be held in Buenos Aires (October).
  • AFBC Executive Committee Meeting (date tbc)

 

2018 AIBA Congress Preparations:
The progress report on Congress Preparations along with a detailed plan related to the logistics (i.e. Visa arrangement, etc.) will be sent out to all of you in the next couple of weeks.

 

Submission of Written Proposal on Congress Agenda:
I would also like to remind you that each National Federation may submit to the Executive Committee written proposals at least two months before the date of the Congress which is September 2, 2018. Such proposals must be supported in writing by at least fifteen (15) other National Federations with a brief explanation of the rational(s) for the proposals following the Article 26.1 in AIBA Statutes.

 

My dear boxers and friends, I look forward to sharing more information with you later on, and as always, feel free to reach out to me with any questions or concerns that you may have.

Sincerely yours,
Gafur Rahimov
AIBA Interim President