IBA deeply concerned about controversial judging at the Asian Games

October 5th, 2023 / IBA

The International Boxing Association (IBA) remains stunned as the IOC continues to remain silent in all regards, particularly those related to the grave mistakes and violations committed by C.K. Wu, former IOC Member and Executive Board Member under whose leadership AIBA was a true farce with bankruptcy and corruption at all levels. Traces of these destructive actions can be seen at recent boxing tournaments organized under the umbrella of the IOC.

The IBA welcomes and appreciates a high level of organization when it comes to the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, achieved by the Chinese government and the Local Organizing Committee who channelled significant resources into the management of the Games and, consequently, sports development. However, it is discouraging to see that such a great spectacle of sports is overshadowed by the mistakes of some R&Js.

Following the tremendous error made by the IOC to withdraw its recognition, the IBA remains disappointed that it has not been involved in the Asian Games or consulted at any stage and stresses the importance of keeping the integrity of the competitions’ officials at the highest possible level and not accepting substandard performances.

With this, the IBA has set an example of high-level refereeing and judging at its profile events, both Men’s and Women’s World Boxing Championships in Tashkent and New Delhi, accordingly. This level continues with our latest program of Champions’ Night, with officials ensuring that our key spectacle remains on point for the world to see our clear worth and continued professional development.     

The lowest number of the Olympic boxing tournament participants in years made high demand for Paris 2024 quotas. In such circumstances, the true champion may never be revealed. IBA strives in ensuring that every performance from each boxer matters based on their merits within the ring, excluding influence of the competition officials regarding the end-state results. 

The absence of subject matter expertise from the IBA has raised significant concerns by the membership, from the level of officiating, through to the use of the bout review. The bout review automatically looks at split decisions, with reference to previous analysis and study (over 90%), that the majority of controversial results are circulated around split decisions. The IBA believes that the bout review rule shall be applied at the boxing qualifiers and boxing tournament in Paris 2024 to ensure fair results that will minimize the number of critical R&J mistakes. IBA has the necessary expertise in this regard and is ready to share its knowledge and experience in order to protect the athletes.

‘I received a lot of complaints from the athletes and team delegations participating at the Asian Games boxing tournament. They all are concerned about multiple R&J’s mistakes. That being said, IBA is not involved in this tournament due to the IOC Session and its controversial decision,’ IBA President Umar Kremlev claimed.

‘The integrity management in all respects should be first and foremost at any boxing competition. Unfortunately, the athletes faced problems at the competition under the IOC Boxing Unit supervision, where there is no rigorous vetting process conducted at the same level as IBA, which is managed with state-of-the-art AI technologies by well-respected independent experts involved. The background checks that the Boxing Unit provides might be not comprehensive enough to ensure the best quality of the competition. This has been verified with a number of ‘high-risk’ officials that have been removed from competition by IBA, have indeed been selected and used in Olympic qualifying events. In addition, the absence of the bout review rule allows the judges mistakes unpunished or unresolved, as there is no mechanism to overturn or at the very least, ‘review’ their decision,’ President Kremlev added.

He went on to say, ‘We are concerned because of our athletes that are at the very heart of the IBA. Every single bout matters throughout every stage of development and indeed competition. The price of IBA’s absence is extremely high and noted, this impacts significantly on the dreams of many boxers. We must do everything we can in ensuring the highest levels of integrity are met. Having received a number of complaints from various National Federations in terms of results, not only for the level of officiating in China, but from the commencement of the European qualifying events in Poland. The latter was followed by the African Qualification tournament in Dakar that was marked with certain complaints and involved high-risk officials also. IBA remains stood on the side line only to direct those National Federations concerns back to the IOC for their clarifications and relevant actions. IBA is ready to offer any help to the IOC to avoid such situations for the sake of our boxers.’

‘The IBA is Home of Boxing and will always protect the interests of its boxers and the boxing family at all levels, regardless of which entity is in charge of tournaments’ organization,’ concluded IBA President.