Still no clarity on boxing's inclusion for Tokyo

Vikas Krishan

With the International Olympic Committee (IOC) holding on to its warning of excluding boxing from the 2020 Tokyo Games, it has sparked concerns among the member nations. India, too, is among them but remains hopeful of things falling in place.

The IOC in the past had stated its concerns over the governance of international boxing federation. The under-fire AIBA officials had last month handed the report of reforms to IOC. However, President Thomas Bach, while conceding the report reflects “progress”, said IOC retained the right to exclude boxing from Tokyo Games due to lack of execution and substance in some areas.

The IOC has given AIBA an extension till July 11 to take further action ahead of the next executive board meeting from July 17-18. India, whose boxers are currently basking in their best performance in the recently concluded Commonwealth Games, where they returned with nine medals, expected the issue to be sorted by then.

The BFI officials said they were in regular touch with AIBA and were assured all the concerns of IOC would be suitably addressed. “The key area of IOC concern has been the refereeing system and appointment of judges besides WADA compliance. As far as WADA compliance is concerned, the reforms have been approved by WADA. When it comes to refereeing also, the new plan has been submitted. The IOC said it would like to the see the execution of it, which will also be done beginning with Youth World Championship in Budapest in August," a top BFI official told DH.

“Of course we are concerned, but we are also hopeful the whole matter will be sorted in next three to four months. The IOC stand is softening as AIBA works to take these corrective measures."

Bach had also clearly said they were keen to see the execution of refereeing system and its approval by international and independent expertise. Otherwise, boxing risk the axe from next October’s Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires.

The current referring system has not gone well with many Indian boxers, including CWG and Asian Games gold medallist Vikas Krishan, who preferred the previous scoring system.

India’s Olympic bronze medallist boxer Vijender Singh, meanwhile, said the boxers should continue to focus on their training. “I feel we are on the right track, and though such threats (of boxing’s exclusion) are being made, nothing will happen. Things will be sorted. Whatever the new rules, it is important that our boxers should focus on their training. They got three gold medal in CWG with the current scoring system. So a good boxer is never dependent on new rules, “ Vijender told DH.

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Still no clarity on boxing's inclusion for Tokyo

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