Boxing may lose Olympic status because of Gafur Rakhimov. Preparations for tournament at Olympics 2020 in Tokyo frozen
The International Olympic Committee actively opposed the election of the Uzbek businessman Gafur Rakhimov, known in criminal circles under the nickname Gafur Chorny as the head of AIBA.
The IOC has frozen plans for a boxing tournament at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games due to the investigation into the International Boxing Association (AIBA), according to the official website of the International Olympic Committee.
Tickets for the boxing tournament have been suspended, all contacts between AIBA and the organizing committee of the Olympic Games have been temporarily suspended. Planning of test competitions and scheduling the tournament are frozen.
The decision was made by the IOC Executive Committee, who had previously actively opposed for the post of AIBA head the candidacy of Uzbek businessman Gafur Rakhimov, who was included in the sanctions list by the US Treasury in December 2017. The IOC warned that this step could adversely affect the Olympic status of boxing.
In particular, the IOC did not accept the recent AIBA report on the organization’s activities. The committee acknowledged AIBA's progress in the field of judging and anti-doping, but noted that the areas of finance, management and ethics still raise questions, in particular, the appointment of Gafur Rakhimov as head of AIBA, since the functionary is suspected of having links to the international criminal network. At the same time last night the head of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, said at a press conference in Tokyo that the organization would make every effort to make an Olympic boxing tournament in 2020 take place.
In response, the head of AIBA Rakhimov thanked the IOC Executive Board for “comprehensive work” and assured that “AIBA seeks to improve its activities in any field.”
Previously elected in early November as AIBA President Gafur Rakhimov, who is known in criminal circles under the nickname Gafur Chorny, has already come under US sanctions as part of the criminal organization Brother's Circle, along with a number of influential thieves in law from countries the former USSR. In addition, for more than 5 years, Rakhimov was wanted in his homeland on charges of extortion, use of false documents and money laundering. But in 2018, after the change of power in the country, the search was stopped, the government of Uzbekistan appealed to AIBA, calling the charges against the businessman unfounded, and he himself soon returned to his homeland.
The entrepreneur himself, commenting on the conflict of the IOC with AIBA, expressed his willingness to leave his post if this could harm boxing. Meanwhile, the Director of Communications of the IOC, Mark Adams, recently noted that “the issue is not only in Rakhimov himself, but in the entire management system of the organization.”