Explained: Why boxing and weightlifting are under scanner before 2024 Paris Olympics? 

Closing Ceremony - Olympics: Day 16
Closing Ceremony - Olympics: Day 16

International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach has said the fate of boxing and weightlifting as part of the 2024 Paris Olympics programme will be decided “as early as possible”.

He said both the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) and the International Boxing Association (AIBA) are being watched in the run-up to the Olympics in three years" time.

"We are quite concerned because in these two federations there are problems of good governance and that is why we are currently monitoring them very closely. We will make a decision as soon as possible in the interest of the athletes,” Thomas Bach was quoted by L’Equipe as saying.

Why is Boxing under scanner?

In May 2019, AIBA was stripped from hosting boxing competitions at the Tokyo Olympics following a six-month review into the body. The entire boxing programme in Tokyo was hosted by IOC’s taskforce.

The review said that AIBA posed “serious financial, legal and reputational risk to the IOC and the Olympics Movement”.

Former AIBA President Gafur Rakhimov was found to be a part of a criminal group “The Brothers’ Cricle’ by the United States Treasury Department.

Rakhimov was also linked to heroin trafficking. However, he denied all the allegations by was removed from his office.

Also Read: AIBA Men’s Boxing Championships: Narender, Rohit extend winning run

Morocco’s Mohamed Moustahsane was appointed as Interim president in 2019. However, he stepped down in late 2020. The current AIBA president is Umar Kremlev.

Match-fixing allegations in Boxing during 2016 Rio Olympics

Law expert Richard McLaren recently released an independent report which stated AIBA’s involvement in match-fixing at the Rio 2016 Olympics. The 149-page report detailed that more than 10 bouts from the Games were manipulated.

The Olympic committee also criticized the ongoing Boxing World Championships in Belgrade, Serbia.

Also read: Boxing National Championship: Dominant RSPB lift team championship trophy with 12 medals

It said there was a "lack of due diligence in awarding the tournament to Belgrade" after Kosovo boxers were unable to cross into Serbia for the competition due to political tension.

AIBA stated during the crisis that Serbia was to abide by the rules written in the host city contract. It included free access to Serbia for the Kosovan team, but this was ignored.

Why is Weightlifting scrutinised ahead of the 2024 Paris Olympics?

The IWF and its former president Tamas Ajan were accused of covering up doping within the sport, with over 170 samples hidden by the federation.

Richard McLaren uncovered the cover-ups in June 2020 and stated Ajan created a “culture of fear” during his reign on the top.

Bribery and vote-buying were commonplace and during Aján's tenure and he collected fines for anti-doping violations.

Edited by Diptanil Roy

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