Boxing: Russian Umar Kremlev elected new president of Aiba, vows to improve troubled body's governance

LAUSANNE (AFP) – Russian Umar Kremlev has been elected president of the troubled International boxing Association (Aiba), vowing to restore the body’s Olympic status.

He won 57.33 per cent of the vote to become new head of the sports body that represents amateur boxing worldwide.

“Let me make it clear: the path to rebuilding Aiba is not easy,” said Kremlev, head of the Russian boxing federation since 2017, on Saturday. “It will not happen overnight. We have to unite together and work with one mission, and one mission alone: rebuilding the credibility and trust that Aiba once had in the minds of sports people worldwide and that includes, of course, restoring Aiba’s Olympic status.”

Kremlev said “getting rid of Aiba’s debt will be the first priority”, adding he was confident he could chart a clear path for Aiba to be reinstated by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in time for the Paris Olympics in 2024.

The Aiba was last year stripped by the IOC of its right to run boxing at the Tokyo Games due to serious mismanagement. The quadrennial event has been postponed by a year to 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The boxing competition at the Tokyo Olympics is instead being organised by the IOC Boxing Task Force.

“Boxing is the sport of fighters. Our fight today is against financial debt, against incompetence, against corruption, against doping, against poor training, and against poor safety,” the 38-year-old Kremlev said.

“Strengthening Aiba’s governance structures, and ensuring our checks and balances work, will be the focus of my tenure as president.”

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