Olympics officials to probe boxing corruption allegations
IOC keeping tabs on allegations that secret payments were made to seal boxing medals at next year's Games
International Olympic Committee officials are closely monitoring reports that secret payments of millions of dollars were made to secure boxing medals at next year’s London 2012 Games.
BBC Newsnight claims to have uncovered evidence that £5.9m was paid by Azerbaijan to the World Series Boxing (WSB), an event run by amateur boxing’s world governing body, AIBA, on the understanding that boxers from that country would win medals next summer.
WSB chief executive Ivan Khodabakhsh denies the allegations and AIBA president Dr Ching-Kuo Wu has been quick to publicly back his senior executive.
“I deny that I have offered anyone two gold medals or have any understanding that anybody else has offered two gold medals to Azerbaijan,” said Khodabakhsh, who had previously claimed the funding, for the American franchise of WSB, had been provided by a unnamed Swiss company.
When launched the World Boxing Series was touted as the future of the amateur sport – with plans for franchise teams in everything major city.
The second event will start later this year but the British Amateur Boxing Association has continued to refuse to back a London team and Britain’s Olympic team does not compete.
Lawyers for the AIBA dismissed the BBC allegations as “preposterous and utterly untrue”, while Dr Wu said the claims were “totally untrue and ludicrous”, claiming that WSB is conducted in a “totally transparent way”.
He added he had spent the last four years “cleaning the house of boxing” and that any corruption or manipulation within the sport was not tolerated.