My dear boxers and friends,
First and foremost, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy New Year. May it be filled with good health and success for each of you but also for boxing and AIBA. At AIBA, the year is already up and running and we are committed to making 2019 a year of action and of renewal for our organisation.
While we are all aware of the challenges facing AIBA and the mess that was left behind from the past leadership, I also believe that we should not spend time on what could or should have been. I can only tell you that going forward, as President of AIBA, I take responsibility for correcting these mistakes. And this is a responsibility that I take very seriously.
The coming weeks will be important for AIBA, especially in our discussions with the IOC. I will take this opportunity to further explain and clarify all outstanding points with our Olympic partners. I believe that it is vital to be transparent not only with the IOC but also with all the AIBA National Federations and that light is shed upon any misunderstandings about our current situation, especially areas that stem from the bad management of the past and our progress to date. My hope is that we can move ahead without any further delays, especially so that our boxers can continue with their preparations and Olympic qualifications – they are the top priority!
Looking forward, we as an organisation have big ambitions to develop our sport to its fullest potential. We ended 2018 on a good note, with AIBA’s foundation renewed and consolidated. Our improved governance policies and officiating, our strict compliance with the WADA code and our regained financial stability placed us in the best position to enter this New Year with a positive outlook. Together with all of you, I look forward to building upon our new foundation and strengthening AIBA on all accounts.
As we look to the immediate future, our AIBA Executive Committee meeting is set to take place in Istanbul on February 8th-9th. This will be the opportunity to discuss the future of our sport, in particular discussions will revolve around elements including next steps regarding our new strategic plan.
Exciting events are also in the pipeline for this year! To name just a few, the AIBA Men’s World Championships will be taking place in September and will be followed by the Women’s Championships in October, both being hosted by Russia (in Yekaterinburg and Ulan Ude respectively). Be sure to mark your calendars and to keep an eye out for more detailed information which should follow in coming weeks.
Finally, I would like to thank you all sincerely for your unfailing support. I can assure you of my determination to stabilise AIBA’s future, in the best interest of our athletes, our sport and of our members.