— Published 14 December 2021

AIBA changes its name and culture

A new page has been turned for AIBA. At an extraordinary congress, the world boxing body took the historic decision to change its name. It is now called IBA, an acronym for International Boxing Association. In itself, nothing very spectacular, AIBA not being the first body of the Olympic movement to give itself a name more in tune with the times. But in its case, the change is accompanied by a new set of governance reforms drawn up by independent experts, under the leadership of Canadian Richard McLaren and German Ulrich Haas. Among the amendments to the constitution adopted by the Extraordinary Congress are the creation of an independent Integrity Unit, which should be operational during 2022; the reduction of the IBA Board from 28 to 18 members, following elections scheduled by 30 June; and the introduction of strict criteria and extensive eligibility checks for Board candidates. As a bonus, a new visual identity was revealed, which is intended to strengthen the commercial impact of the body. Commented IBA President, Umar Kremlev of Russia: “We are doing more than making significant improvements to our governance. We are changing our entire culture in a sustainable way. The new IBA is ready to serve the boxers of today and tomorrow, and all those who support them.” Will this “new culture” of the world boxing body convince the IOC? The future of boxing at the Olympic Games depends on it. As a reminder, boxing is not yet formally on the programme for the Los Angeles 2028 Games, with the IOC Executive Board deciding last week to put the discipline on the back burner, along with modern pentathlon and weightlifting. In order to enter the programme, the new IBA will have to meet the expectations and requirements of the Olympic body by the IOC Session in 2023.