By Edward Chaykovsky
If former world champion Amir Khan (31-4, 19KOs) goes through with his desire to represent Pakistan in the Rio Olympics, he would face a two-year ban from the World Boxing Council, according to WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman.
Earlier this week, the International Boxing Association's (AIBA) officially voted on rule change that allows professional fighters to compete against top amateurs in the Olympic games.
Khan was one of the first pro boxer, with name recognition, who said he was interested in competing. Khan had previously represented Britain in the Olympics games and took home a silver medal in 2004.
Khan is currently the WBC's mandatory challenger to welterweight world champion Danny Garcia. By entering the Olympics he would lose that position and also face a two-year ban from being ranked by the sanctioning body or fighting for any of their world titles.
The WBC will ban any of their world champions or fighters ranked in the top 15, who enter the Olympic games.
Sulaiman told Sky Sports News HQ: "This is a decision that AIBA has taken which puts the health of the fighters in jeopardy. A professional boxer - a world champion - to compete against an amateur fighter in the Olympic games, purely for commercial purposes, disregarding the health problems this could lead to, is a decision that is completely against the principles of the sport.
"In boxing, you don't score baskets or goals. You punch your opponent. To have in the ring two fighters with absolutely different levels of competition is criminal. So the WBC has decided to put this ban out for any top-15 fighters because these are the elite of the sport that could hurt an amateur boxer. Simply, the ban will apply for two years from any WBC activity because that's our only jurisdiction.
"We are putting an example out to all our fighters. I've spoken to many current fighters and they agree, and are completely against competing in the Olympics because they could possibly hurt one of the kids. It's the responsibility of the organisations to protect the fighters. You cannot leave it up to the athletes to choose to do whatever they want. That's why rules exist."