Uzbek businessman Gafur Rakhimov, candidate for the presidency of the International Boxing Federation (AIBA), assured in Moscow that his sport will not be excluded from the Olympic Games even if he is elected to head the institution.
At the opening of the congress to be decided by the new AIBA president, Rakhimov assured that the institution “responds to all the demands” of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), concerned about AIBA’s governance problems and Rakhimov’s controversial reputation .
“You have probably heard that the IOC has expressed some concerns about AIBA and its Olympic future. I am happy to say that we are addressing those concerns and making excellent progress, ”he told AIBA representatives from more than 200 countries.
“An amendment, which you are going to vote on, will establish a system that allows the elected president, whoever he is, to leave his post within a specified period,” added Rakhimov, who has been acting president of AIBA since January.
The IOC threatened to withdraw Olympic recognition from AIBA and indicated that it could remove boxing from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games program “if governance issues are not resolved.”
Unusual action, the director in charge of ethics and compliance at the IOC, the French Pâquerette Girard Zappelli, sent a letter to Rakhimov on August 31, asking him not to appear. “Only candidates who benefit from a totally clear situation can try to reach the presidency,” he said in a document to which the AFP had access.
“A decision of the United States Treasury links him as part or linked to two international criminal organizations,” he added in the document.
“I have never been involved in international criminal organizations,” Rakhimov defended himself, in an exclusive interview with AFP on 8 October.
Rakhimov faces in the elections the former Kazakh boxer Serik Konakbayev, whom the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) allowed him to appear three days ago, after at first the AIBA had rejected his candidacy due to a delay in the presentation part of the support of the 20 federations necessary to participate in the scrutiny. AFP