After the suspension of Ukraine: boxing boss Kremlev calls for the return of Russian boxers

The world boxing association IBA suspended Ukraine at a turbulent congress.

After the suspension of Ukraine: boxing boss Kremlev calls for the return of Russian boxers

The world boxing association IBA suspended Ukraine at a turbulent congress. The athletes from the country attacked by Russia should be allowed to continue boxing, as the Russian president of the association hopes for the Russian fighters as well. Sport is not politics, he says.

The International Boxing Association (IBA) has called for athletes from Russia and Belarus to return to all international competitions. "Sport has nothing to do with politics: politics ends where it begins," said Russian President Umar Kremlev, according to a statement from the association. "The IBA is there to protect every boxer, no matter what the situation is in their home country." After the start of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine, athletes from Russia and Belarus, which is considered to have supported the Russian invasion, were banned from numerous sporting events.

At its extraordinary congress last weekend, the IBA decided to temporarily suspend Ukraine because of state interference in the work of the national association. Kremlev now emphasized that Ukrainian athletes are still allowed to take part in IBA competitions. The federation voted for the "suspension of the federation, not for that of the athletes," said the Russian. "I reiterate that all athletes must be allowed to compete under their country's flag."

Kremlev demanded that the International Olympic Committee and the international federations must protect athletes and ensure that they are not discriminated against on the basis of their nationality. "It is the duty of all of us to keep sport out of politics."

At the IBA Congress last weekend, the delegates spoke out against new elections, which is why Kremlev will remain in office for another four years. The 39-year-old is considered a close confidant of his predecessor Gafur Rachimov (Uzbekistan), who had to resign from office due to allegations of corruption. The world association has been suspended by the IOC since 2019 and is no longer financially supported by it. The IOC is also threatening to remove boxing from the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics if there are no reforms in the federation. For the games in Paris 2024, the IOC has already withdrawn the IBA from hosting the boxing tournament.

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