Prez’s background an issue
The latest problem revolves around Uzkekistan businessman Gafur Rakhimov, the interim AIBA president, who is the only candidate approved for the election of president. Rakhimov has been linked to organised crime by the US Treasury Department and his assets in US jurisdiction are frozen. Americans have been prohibited from “conducting financial or other transactions” with him. Rakhimov was described by the Treasury Department last year as “one of Uzbekistan’s leading criminals and an important person involved in the heroin trade.” He has denied the charges, saying they are mere speculation.
Rakhimov has been on the US watch list as a member of a criminal organisation known as Brothers’ Circle, according to website Crime Rusia. Rakhimov was earlier on the Uzbek interior ministry’s most wanted list, but has since been taken off it. Rakhimov has been serving as interim president after the long-serving C.K. Wu resigned last year following internal disputes and allegations of grave financial mismanagement. Wu was slapped a life ban earlier this week.
Financial, anti-doping mess
This is not the first time the IOC has been displeased with the functioning of AIBA. The IOC Executive Board had said in February that it was not satisfied with the report prepared by AIBA on its governance, finance, refereeing and anti-doping issues and if things did not improve the Olympic future of the sport would be bleak. The sport has been on every Olympic programme since 1920. The IOC has also frozen any payments due to AIBA. The IOC has said that if it punishes AIBA, it will find a way to ensure that the boxers can still participate in some way.
Credibility of judges
Boxing has also been notorious for controversies in judging bouts at major events, with allegations of corruption and bias. All 36 referees and judges who functioned at the 2016 Rio Games were subsequently suspended. Some other top AIBA officials in charge of the boxing competition at the Olympics were also “reassigned”. This prompted great suspicion about the credibility of the sport, and even IOC expressed its dissatisfaction over how boxing was run, inside and outside the ring.
Ajay Singh in fray
Boxing Federation of India President Ajay Singh is in fray to be Asia’s representative in the AIBA Executive Committee when the under-fire world body goes to polls where controversial interim President Gafur Rakhimov is set for re-election to the top post. Singh’s nomination was approved, along with 10 others from the Asian bloc, by the International Boxing Association’s (AIBA) election committee chairman Jost Schmid on Wednesday in Lausanne. The elections are scheduled to be held on November 3 during the AIBA’s annual conference in Moscow starting November 2.