The International Olympic Committee’s Boxing Task Force (BTF) have fired back at claims that their qualifying tournament in London had caused three boxers and a trainer to test positive for the coronavirus.
On Wednesday the Turkish Boxing Federation claimed the IOC was irresponsible for the positive tests, because they allowed the event to go forward. The competition took place at the Copper Box arena in London, with boxers from 43 countries taking part in the qualifiers.
Two boxers and a trainer from Turkey, plus a boxer from Croatia, came up positive for COVID-19 after returning to their respective countries.
The IOC took over the event, after suspending the AIBA last year.
The boxers were attempting to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Games. The qualifiers continued for three days and were halted on March 16.
“This virus has been around since December 2019. Therefore, it is inevitable to ask why the European Qualification event was not postponed before it even took place,” Turkish Boxing Federation president Eyup Gozgec wrote in a letter to board members of the European Boxing Confederation.
The IOC denied the accusations of irresponsibility being thrown in their direction.
“Some news reports appeared to draw a connection between the affected participants and the Boxing Road to Tokyo European qualifier held in London,” they said in a statement.
“The London event was suspended 10 days ago... and the BTF is not aware of any link between the competition and the infection. Many participants were in independently organised training camps in Italy, Great Britain and in their home countries before the competition started on 14 March 2020 and have returned home a while ago so it is not possible to know the source of infection.”