Boxing has moved closer to being thrown out of the Olympics for good after the embattled federation governing the amateur discipline re-elected its incumbent Russian president Umar Kremlev unopposed following the controversial decision to ban his only rival from standing against him on the eve of the vote.
The International Boxing Association election had been scheduled for Friday but was pushed back by 24 hours to allow the Court of Arbitration for Sport to rule on the appeal from Dutch candidate Boris van der Vorst, who was sensationally barred from challenging Umar Kremlev by an interim nominations panel.
The CAS dismissed Van der Vorst’s urgent attempt to block the vote on Friday night and Kremlev, IBA president since December 2020, was officially re-elected for a four-year term at an extraordinary congress in Istanbul on Saturday an outcome that plunges boxing’s Olympic future further into doubt.
Boxing has not had its place confirmed on the programme for Paris 2024 and has been left off the schedule for the 2028 Games in Los Angeles.
The popular sport featured at last year’s postponed Olympics in Tokyo but the competition was run by the International Olympic Committee, which suspended the IBA over issues with its governance, finances and refereeing and judging.
The IOC has been keeping a close eye on developments regarding the IBA election after Van der Vorst was deemed ineligible because of his involvement in an alliance that had criticised the organisation for its response to the Ukraine war and being bankrolled by Russian state-owned company Gazprom.
Concerns at the IOC, the most powerful body in world sport, are thought to have grown following the process that led to Kremlev’s re-election to the top job at the troubled IBA. A spokesperson told Sportsmail that it was ‘monitoring the developments at the IBA very closely’.
Concerns over refereeing and judging in the sport were among the reasons for the IOC suspending the Olympic recognition of the IBA, which prevented it from having any role in the boxing tournament at the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics.