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The presidential election of the International Boxing Association (AIBA) will be fair and democratic, according to the head of AIBA’s Ethics Commission, Bernhard Welten. Being the new chairman for roughly two months, he is expected to assist in implementing key reforms to help reinstate AIBA, which represents amateur boxing worldwide, after it was suspended by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) last year.

Seven candidates from four continents are standing for the election, the first time that AIBA has seen more than two candidates for president. The election will be held during AIBA’s congress on December 12-13.

Welten took note of the IOC’s statement of November 25 that its recommendation to put the AIBA reforms and their implementation first “has not been respected to date”.

“Despite the ongoing pandemic, AIBA has treated it as an important mission to implement reforms. Our Ethics and Disciplinary Commissions have both been strengthened to oversee governance and ensure transparency,” said Welten, who is also a Swiss arbitrator at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

AIBA has successfully conducted an Athletes Commission election and is extending its contract with the International Testing Agency to continue its compliance with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

AIBA’s Reform Commission has also proposed changes to update the Constitution, which will be voted on at AIBA’s Congress.

The IOC, in its statement on November 25, also noted the issue of “concerns which have been raised against some of the candidates for the AIBA presidency”.

Welten called on the IOC to share its concerns formally with AIBA’s Election Committee, in order to look into these allegations and to take the necessary actions and decisions.

Following reports of mass emails containing rumours and allegations being forwarded by a few candidates’ campaign managers, Welten called on all candidates to respect the applicable AIBA regulations and norms of democracy. He urges the candidates to lead a fair and respectful campaign.

“We are looking forward to a transparent contest between the candidates. AIBA’s Election Committee will ensure the presidential election is fair and democratic, with the best candidate chosen by all our National Federations,” Welten said.