A tree in the forest: IBA aims to protect its athletes as a first priority

Tashkent, Uzbekistan (May 2, 2023) – IBA President Umar Kremlev and Secretary General and CEO George Yerolimpos have summarized the work done during the last few months at a hybrid press conference in Tashkent against the backdrop of the IBA Men’s World Boxing Championships.   

‘There is a huge work behind all that we have today,’ IBA President said. ‘We have medals made of gold instead of gold-plated, and this is the best example of how we work. We don’t hide behind beautiful covers, we have really high standards. IBA is open and transparent, we will fight for boxing to be present at all multi-sports events, including the Olympics. We will not let them exclude boxing from the Games. I don’t see any issues to start the cooperation with the IOC, we just have to start. All parties need to acknowledge the mistakes of the past and never repeat them. Boxing should be led by boxers, and so do the other sports. I don’t want to rule the boxers hiding behind democracy.  We are all here to serve our athletes and coaches, our National Federations.’  

Yerolimpos added that a comprehensive report is to be sent to the IOC in the upcoming days to highlight and prove all the governance work of the organization.

‘We will provide the IOC with a full report to support our every action, and I feel proud to be a part of this revolution that IBA is doing. In fact, IBA is a huge organization with more than 200 member federations, so there could be no comparison between us and other virtual entities that do not exist. We are the Home of Boxing, and President Kremlev and the Board of Directors are doing a revolution for the sake of the boxers, while they also pay a bill for the others. You perfectly know that IBA was on the edge of bankruptcy and the President is the person who helped to solve this issue,’ he stated.  

‘The Olympics is a very nice and beautiful tree, we would like to be close to it. However, the IBA would like at the same time to also deal with other trees, as we need to take care of the whole forest of our athletes and of our members NFs,’ Yerolimpos stressed. 

The CEO also added that the organization is concerned about the Olympic qualifications. 

‘We are worried about the qualification path of our athletes, as, for instance, one of the continental Qualifications is vague after the postponement of the African Games. In addition, we cannot see the Qualifications process without respecting the IBA World Championships results, as well as the IBA Rankings must be taken into account. We announced eligible athletes for the European Games in Poland because we believe that these boxers have their rights to be featured at the event and deserved their chance to qualify for the Paris 2024 Games,’ he concluded.    

You can watch full press conference here.

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