Britain to boycott women’s world championships in New Delhi

NEW DELHI (Agencies): Boxers from Britain will not participate at the women’s world championships in New Delhi next month, the governing body said on Tuesday, citing concerns about the sport’s Olympic future.

The International Boxing Association (IBA) was stripped of involvement in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and boxing is not on the initial programme for the 2028 Los Angeles Games, pending reforms demanded by the Int’l Olympic Committee (IOC).

In December, the IOC raised the possibility of boxing being excluded from the 2024 Paris Games, accusing the IBA of having “no real interest” in the sport or its athletes. Qualifying for Paris is being organised by the IOC. The IBA, backed by Russian energy firm Gazprom, has also reversed bans on boxers from Russia and Belarus competing with national flags and anthems despite the war in Ukraine.

“The decision reflects ongoing concerns about the future of boxing’s place on the Olympic programme and the recent move by IBA to allow boxers from Russia and Belarus to compete under their national flags, which contravenes resolutions passed by the IOC…,” GB Boxing said in a statement.

“This has put further distance between IBA and the Olympic movement in addition to the significant, longstanding issues over sporting integrity, governance, transparency and financial management which the IOC has asked IBA to address to protect boxing’s place on the Olympic programme.

“GB Boxing condemns the Russian invasion of Ukraine and has solidarity with the people, boxers, coaches and officials of Ukraine.” The British governing body added that their participation at the men’s tournament in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, in May, was “under review”.

The announcement follows USA Boxing and the Irish Athletic Boxing Association’s (IABA) decision to boycott this year’s world championships. Following the boycotts, the IBA offered to fund U.S. and Irish boxers wanting to compete in this year’s world championships.

The IBA also warned that it would pursue “strong sanctions against those who initiate and join the participation boycott”. The Boxing Federation of India could not immediately be reached for comment.