AIBA amends bylaw to keep Gafur Rakhimov out of fresh presidential elections

The declaration comes after AIBA’s Extraordinary Executive Committee met in Geneva on Thursday.

Gafur Rakhimov had taken over as AIBA president last year despite IOC’s reservations about him.   -  AP

Expelled by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Boxing Association (AIBA) has amended one of its bylaws to keep controversial former president Gafur Rakhimov out of fray when elections are held for the top post in November, 2019.

The AIBA will make make peace with the IOC through a variety of measures, Russian Boxing Federation secretary Umar Kremlev — also an AIBA Executive Committee member — said in a statement to PTI. “Today we removed the Article 16.3 of the bylaw so that [Rakhimov] could not return, and we voted for the Congress, which will take place on November 15 (in Lausanne) and on which we will elect the new AIBA leadership,” Kremlev said.

IOC had on Wednesday stripped AIBA of the rights to conduct the 2020 Olympic Games’ boxing competition, completely revising the qualification process as well. As a result, the world championships this year, to be held in Russia, will no longer have Olympic qualifier status and the quotas will be decided by continental championships followed by a world qualifier next year.

Rakhimov, an Uzbek businessman accused of organised crime by the U.S. Treasury Department, had stepped aside earlier this year under intense IOC pressure but had not ruled out a comeback. He took over the top post last year despite IOC’s reservations about his credentials.

Kremlev’s statement came after the AIBA Extraordinary Executive Committee met in Geneva on Thursday. The initiative to remove the bylaw was supported by 13 members. There was one member against the proposition, and eight abstained from voting on the issue.

'Serious decisions'

“Today we have united and made serious decisions, got rid of the man who deceived the entire boxing community, saying that he would pay off all debts and find a common language with the IOC,” Kremlev said.

Umar Kremlev: “Today we have united and made serious decisions, got rid of the man who deceived the entire boxing community.” File Photo: AP

 

“He brought AIBA to the risk of bankruptcy. He should apologise to the entire boxing community,” he added.

Kremlev said he and Ukrainian Boxing Federation President Volodimyr Prodivus also announced a “vote of non-confidence for the AIBA Interim President Mohamed Moustahsane and the chairman of the Ethics Committee Jost Schmid, as he is a supporter of the former leadership.”

Besides, a commission was set up to discuss the “restoration of AIBA with the IOC under Giorgio Brugnoli (England Boxing).”