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Following a full two-day programme at AIBA’s recent Executive Committee meeting held in Istanbul, Turkey, AIBA President Gafur Rahimov reflects on the future of AIBA, the sport of boxing and the current situation with the International Olympic Committee.   

“After two days of very productive and fruitful meetings in Istanbul with the AIBA Executive Committee, I am pleased to share my own insights and reflections with the Boxing family.  As was already communicated, many important discussions were had and many good decisions were taken to move our sport forward.

We are implementing technical and competition rule changes that will ensure fair-play and trust in our sport. We have further made amendments to our rulings on uniforms to ensure inclusion and equality and we have made a major announcement that ensures that the voice of boxers from around the world are heard. Furthermore, I have announced the “Fit for Future” initiative and appointed our new Athlete’s Commission interim representatives to help lead it together with working groups of athletes from around the world.  Our athletes are the future of our sport, they are creative, they are resourceful and they deserve to be heard. This initiative will be the roadmap for the future strategy of the organization – prepared by boxers for boxers!

Included among the many points raised at the Executive Committee meeting was the situation with the IOC. The AIBA Executive Committee has stressed that we understand the IOC’s concern, as the situation of AIBA was extremely serious because the former leadership of AIBA left our organization in a complete mess, not only financially but also in terms of governance, anti-doping and R&J.

Since early 2018, the new AIBA leadership has improved the federation dramatically on all fronts and AIBA members and Boxers from around the world should be proud of this. AIBA is healthy now and in better shape than ever before.

Still, we understand that the IOC could feel a need for further clarification. And as we have said many times before, we are ready to cooperate with our Olympic Partners and will do our best to clarify any outstanding misunderstandings.  We have always answered questions, queries and reports, and have further taken initiatives towards active change. This is why we will continue to answer these questions in the hopes that this inquiry will be concluded and we can focus on what it is all about: our boxers and the development of our sport. It is time we put our athletes first and leave behind all the politics. Our Boxers are waiting, they need to know when, where or how to qualify for the Olympic Games next year. They must be the priority of everybody!

We have left the past behind us and are ready to move on. We hope that our Olympic friends think the same.”