Controversial Rakhimov elected AIBA president
Moscow, Nov 3 (AFP) Controversial Uzbek businessman Gafur Rakhimov was elected president of the International Boxing Association (AIBA) on Saturday despite fears that his appointment could lead to the sport's ejection from the Olympic Games.
Rakhimov won 86 of the 134 second-round votes collected by AIBA officials in Moscow to beat his only opponent, former boxer Serik Konakbayev of Kazakhstan. Rakhimov, previously interim president, courted controversy after being linked to organised crime by the US Treasury Department.
He has vigorously denied the allegations but in October the IOC froze relations with the AIBA and refused to accredit Rakhimov for the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires. IOC president Thomas Bach said in February that he was "extremely worried about the governance of AIBA".
And though amateur boxing's under-fire chiefs handed over a crucial report on internal reforms to the IOC in April, the threat of losing a place in the Olympic movement remains.
Until last week, Rakhimov was the only presidential candidate after Konakbayev, who won the Olympic silver medal at the Moscow Games in 1980 for the Soviet Union, was barred from standing by an AIBA election commission for allegedly failing to submit certain forms by a deadline.
Konakbayev lodged an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport and last Tuesday's decision by sports' top arbitration court ruled in his favour. Rakhimov's bid appeared to suffer a hitch on Friday when the Uzbek failed to win enough support from delegates.
But by voting time on Saturday he had done enough to convince his electorate he was the man to lead boxing into what could be an unknown future.