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Boxing's place at Los Angeles Olympics under severe threat

Ireland's most successful Olympic sport - boxing - is far from certain of a place at the 2028 Oly...



Boxing's place at Los Angeles...
Other Sports

Boxing's place at Los Angeles Olympics under severe threat

Ireland's most successful Olympic sport - boxing - is far from certain of a place at the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. 

The IOC has omitted boxing, weightlifting and modern pentathlon from its programme for LA 2028.

Skateboarding, surfing and sport climbing will be official Olympic sports in seven years' time, following successful trials at Tokyo 2020.

Boxing, weightlifting and modern pentathlon must adhere to an International Olympic Committee (IOC)  "pathway" to seal their places in Los Angeles, meaning they have to meet specific criteria.

At a briefing on Thursday, IOC president Thomas Bach referred to boxing and weightlifting in particular as the Olympics' "problem children".

Of the 35 Olympic medals won by Irish athletes, 18 have come inside the boxing ring. Just this year, Kellie Harrington's gold and Aidan Walsh's bronze added to that tally.

Amateur boxing's world governing body AIBA was not involved in the running of the Tokyo 2020 boxing tournament after having its status as an Olympic governing body suspended by the IOC in 2019.

IOC director general Christophe De Kepper wrote to AIBA president Umar Kremlev in September demanding the implementation of several reforms.

AIBA responded at the time by saying, "Wide-ranging reforms are already underway in terms of financial integrity, good governance and sporting integrity, including all the areas mentioned by the IOC and more.

"Independent experts are involved in each of these sectors.

"AIBA is confident these reforms will see AIBA meet and even exceed the criteria laid down by the IOC for reinstatement."

Regarding boxing - and AIBA's - route back to the table, the IOC said, "AIBA must demonstrate that it has successfully addressed the ongoing concerns around its governance, its financial transparency and sustainability, and the integrity of its refereeing and judging processes."

Last month, Modern Pentathlon's governing body - the UIPM - voted to replace horse riding with cycling. The decision came shortly after the sport went viral for all the wrong reasons in Tokyo, with a German coach punching a horse that refused to take a fence.

"The UIPM must finalise its proposal for the replacement of horse riding and the overall competition format," said an IOC statement, "And demonstrate a significant reduction in cost and complexity and an improvement across the areas of safety, accessibility, universality and appeal for young people and the general public."

Weightlifting's problem is more cut and dried - doping.

Regarding the criteria the IWF must make before reinstatement, the IOC said, "The IWF and its future leadership must demonstrate its transition towards compliance and an effective change of culture.

"Furthermore, they must successfully address the historical incidence of doping in the sport and ensure the integrity, robustness and full independence of its anti-doping programme."

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