On Wednesday a special meeting was held, where the executive board of International Olympic Committee (IOC) recommended withdrawing the recognition of the International Boxing Association (IBA).

The IOC noted that the IBA's recognition had to be withdrawn over its failure to meet a set of reforms.

However, the IOC confirmed that the sport of boxing would be part of the Paris and Los Angeles games. Because of the issues with the IBA, the sport had been provisionally excluded from the 2028 Los Angeles games, but now the sport is officially back in the mix.

The IOC suspended the IBA in 2019 - with respect to governance, finance, refereeing and ethical issues. Because of that, the IBA was not involved in running boxing at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

"This decision is based on the IOC Comprehensive Report on the Situation of the IBA dated 2 June 2023, which the IOC Executive Board discussed and approved today," the IOC said in a statement.

"The report establishes that the IBA has failed to fulfil the conditions set by the IOC... for lifting the suspension of the IBA's recognition."

The IOC personally ran the qualifications and the boxing competition in the 2021 games in Tokyo and they are planning to do the same with the 2024 Olympics in Paris, France.

Over the last twelve months, there had been a public war of words between the IBA and IOC. The IBA claimed that the Olympic organization was making false statements and were targeting them because their executive board was run by Russian businessman Umar Kremlev.

The IOC was repeatedly warning the IBA that their company had not done enough to satisfy outstanding reform concerns. Russia's decision to invade Ukraine in 2022, and the ongoing war, has further complicated things - because the IBA had a sponsorship deal with Russian energy giant Gazprom, which has since been terminated - and the IBA's decision to allow Russian and Belarus fighters to compete with their flags.

The IBA is planning to fight the IOC's recommendation, which only needs to be rubberstamped at their official meeting next week.

Kremlev said, "From a disreputable organization named AIBA governed by someone from the IOC’s upper echelon, we committed to and executed a change in the toxic and corrupt culture that was allowed to fester under the IOC for far too long.

"We have made the International Boxing Association new, transparent, clean, and our successes were publicly acknowledged by international independent experts and there is only one organization that has no interest in recognizing our tremendous progress. For four years, the IBA has not received a single opportunity to present its achievements at an in-person meeting with the IOC, rather than only exchanging letters and emails instead. We accepted the process and the rules, but in the end, we were not assessed fairly. Now, we are left with no chance but to demand a fair assessment from a competent court.   

"This is watershed moment for not just IBA but for all International Federations (IFs), as what it is taking place now is a litmus test to gauge the level of apathy within IFs and the Olympic movement. Strong, autonomous, and financially independent IFs should be keenly aware and concerned as they are witnessing the time tested political and strategic tool of orchestrated coups for the sake of regime change, leaving only one winner, the organization seeking absolute power, and many losers consisting mainly the athletes. Today this happens to IBA and becomes a precedent for others, so everybody should be concerned about the unchecked power of the body that has no limits."

IBA Secretary General and CEO George Yerolimpos added, "The IBA has done the work necessary to regain its recognition, and we have continually requested the opportunity to meet and discuss the matters to no avail. An invitation to meet the IBA Adhoc Communication Committee composed of representatives from all continents including the five Presidents of IBA’s Confederations to allow for balanced representation was declined for reasons that can be only interpreted as stonewalling the opportunity for open dialogue between our two organizations.

"The IBA should be commended for its repeated attempts to work with the IOC to find a solution in our fight to oversee Olympic boxing alongside our World Boxing Championships and other world-class IBA competitions and we will continue to explore options with the IOC in a spirit of open dialogue.

"The IBA remains the home of boxing and we now move forward as an organization dedicated to the health of the forest not just one tree which only represents participation for 248 boxers every four years. In addition, the IOC must comply with the Olympic Charter when deciding to withdraw IBA’s recognition. In April this year, the IBA requested the IOC specify which rule, article and/or paragraph of the Olympic Charter, the World Anti-Doping Code, the Olympic Movement Code on the Prevention of Manipulation of Competitions, any other decision, or applicable regulation issued by the IOC has been violated by IBA to no IOC response. Further to that, no rule of the above-mentioned law was named by the IOC as a legal ground to withdraw full recognition of the IBA."