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Boycotted world championships must be Paris Game qualifiers: IBA

THE INTERNATIONAL Olympic Committee’s (IOC) qualifying process for boxing at next year’s Paris Games is unacceptable and must recognize world championships that some countries are boycotting, the governing IBA said on Monday.

The Russian-led International Boxing Association (IBA) has been sidelined by the IOC from the Paris process due to governance and other issues after being stripped of involvement in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Boxing is not on the initial program for Los Angeles 2028, pending reforms demanded by the IOC who warned in December that it might also have to consider canceling the Paris program.

Eight nations including major power the United States have so far said they will boycott this year’s women’s and men’s world championships in New Delhi and Tashkent, Uzbekistan, respectively.

The move comes after IBA decided last November to allow boxers from Russia and Belarus to compete with national flags and anthems, despite the war in Ukraine and against IOC guidance.

The IBA announced on Monday what it called it’s own Olympic qualification system.

“To exclude world champions from the upcoming women’s and men’s world boxing championships… from qualifying for Paris 2024 is not acceptable and against the principles of sport and boxing,” it said.

The IBA said it would accept no qualification process for Paris 2024 other than the world championships and “a final last chance to qualify open event taking place in May 2024”.

A qualifying system approved by the IOC last September established direct qualification through regional multi-sport competitions — the Pan-American Games, European Games, Pacific Games, Asian Games and an African event to be confirmed.

Two world qualification tournaments are also planned for 2024.

The IBA has said athletes from boycotting nations can register directly for its championships and has offered to help fund them. — Reuters

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