Lausanne, Switzerland (May 20, 2023) – The International Boxing Association (IBA) with a letter sent by President Mr Umar Kremlev to all European NF Members of the IBA, has announced its decision to allow all its Boxers, Technical Officials, and Coaches of the European Boxing Confederation (EUBC) to freely participate in the upcoming European Games 2023 which constitutes part of the IOC Olympic Qualification System (OQS) as they pursue their Olympic aspirations. At the same time, a positive discussion between IBA Secretary General and CEO Mr George Yerolimpos and European Olympic Committee (EOC) President Mr Spyros Capralos on the urgent matter took place for the benefit of the athletes and the integrity of the process.
For the sake of boxing, the IBA remains committed to an athlete-first approach where all our athletes have a clear process and pathway to qualify for Paris 2024 but also for our Technical Officials and Coaches who will play a vital role in ensuring their safety and safeguarding the results.
As a mechanism to safeguard our athletes and the results at Paris 2024, the IBA will cooperate with the IOC regarding the top Technical Officials to be included in such competition. For this purpose, the IBA will approach Prof. Richard McLaren, who has the most complete and most reliable database on Technical Officials, to contact the IOC with the purpose of selecting appropriate Technical Officials for the QQS in the European Games. In addition, the IBA has offered to the EOC President the use of its ‘Bout Review System’ with the participation of the company that supports the timing and scoring of our bouts with the technology and know-how developed specifically for safeguarding our competition’s results.
“With the European Games a month away, this decision was not taken easily, but ultimately it was done to keep our Boxers, Technical Officials, and Coaches safe, to protect their results, and separate them from the politics of sport. It was clear, the path previously taken could not guarantee that they would not fall victim to this and become collateral damage.” IBA President Mr Umar Kremlev said.
The IBA will continue to put its athletes and stakeholders first and this goodwill gesture towards the IOC is the first step and the IBA will continue to strive for open and free dialogue with the IOC for the benefit of boxing, its athletes, and the stability and quality of the Olympic Games.
The IBA reiterates its desire for cooperation as we work to regain our Olympic recognition. Recently this has included the IBA providing a comprehensive 400-pages report to the IOC addressing all governance concerns and the creation of an IBA Ad Hoc Communication Committee to engage with the IOC through in-person dialogue.
The European Games 2023 will take place in Krakow-Małopolska, Poland from 21 June – 2 July 2023.