— Published 8 November 2021

Boxing gets an Integrity Unit

The train of reforms does not stop at AIBA. The international body took advantage of the Men’s World Championships, which ended on Sunday 7 November in Belgrade (Serbia), to announce the upcoming creation of a Boxing Integrity Unit. Modelled on the Athletics Integrity Unit, it will be independent of AIBA and will be responsible for dealing with possible cases of competition manipulation, abuse and harassment, as well as checking the eligibility of candidates for various positions within the body. It should be ready to operate in time for final validation by the Congress scheduled for the second quarter of 2022. The proposal for a Boxing Integrity Unit was one of the recommendations of the group of independent experts, chaired by Swiss professor Ulrich Haas, formed by the new AIBA president, Russia’s Umar Kremlev, to reform the body and thus enable the lifting of its suspension by the IOC. Umar Kremlev commented: “For too long AIBA has been on the sidelines on issues of governance and sporting integrity. I am very proud of the way this has changed, with our new culture of reform ensuring real progress towards best practice in governance and fair fighting. Another proposal is a radical change in the composition and size of the AIBA Board of Directors. It will be submitted to the next congress on 12 December 2021, to take effect at next year’s election. At the last men’s world championships, all officials (including referees and judges) were vetted by the team of Canadian professor Richard McLaren. AIBA also worked with the international auditing firm PwC for an independent assessment of the systems and processes used to select, appoint, train, test and assign technical officials.