New Delhi: The International Boxing Association (IBA) has opened disciplinary proceedings against five officials for “inciting a boycott” of the Women’s World Championship in Delhi later this month.
The world body said the Boxing Independent Integrity Unit (BIIU) received a complaint against “certain individuals for a breach of the IBA Constitution and its Disciplinary and Ethics Code with their public actions.” The officials include Executive Director/CEO of USA Boxing Mike McAtee, President of Boxing Canada Ryan O’Shea, Czech Boxing Association President Marek Šimák, Swedish Boxing Association Chairman Per-Axel Sjöholm, and Boxing New Zealand President Steve Hartley.
“The BIIU will also investigate any role in the boycott by the officials of other national federations which have joined the participation boycott,” IBA said in a statement on Wednesday.
“The complaint is based on a violation of several articles of the Disciplinary and Ethics Code including article 24 of the Disciplinary and Ethics Code “Inciting a Boycott of a Competition” related to the IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships 2023 in New Delhi, India, and the IBA Men’s World Boxing Championships 2023 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan,” it added.
IBA’s decision to lift the ban on Russian and Belarusian boxers, allowing them to compete under their own flag, against the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) recommendations due to the ongoing war in Ukraine, has led several countries to boycott the marquee event scheduled in New Delhi on March 15 to 26.
The 11 countries include USA, Britain, Ireland, Canada, Sweden, Poland, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Switzerland and Norway.
Several of them are also skipping the men’s World Championship, slated to be held in Tashkent in May.
USA Boxing was the first federation to announce it will not participate in the two events.
Last month, the IBA announced the two events will be main qualification events for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
Asked about the increasing number of countries pulling out of the women’s World Championship, IBA told PTI: “Despite being called “considerable”, in fact, the number of boycotting countries is a very small percentage among IBA members.
“Having said that, IBA is taking care of all its athletes with no exception, and elite boxers from boycotting nations are able to join the event as independent athletes and receive financial support to do this.
“The well-being of the boxers and coaches is IBA’s top priority, and IBA will keep doing its utmost to provide them with the best possible conditions, so they can achieve their goals.”