While most international federations have banned athletes from Russia and Belarus since the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the International Boxing Association (IBA), led by Russia’s Umar Kremlev, has not taken that step.
The IBA, the organizer of the World Cup, sponsored by Russian energy giant Gazprom, was suspended by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 2019 after several corruption scandals.
Several countries, including Ukraine, the United States, Canada and Great Britain, have decided to boycott the World Cup, which will see 65 nations participate until March 26.
Some countries have indicated that they will not participate in the next Men’s World Cup scheduled in Tashkent (Uzbekistan) from May 1 to 14.
The British Boxing Federation explained last month that the IBA’s decision to allow Russians and Belarusians to compete in India under their national flag was “contrary to the resolutions passed by the IOC”.
“This decision widens the gulf that separates the IBA and the Olympic Movement, and adds to the long-standing significant issues affecting sporting integrity, governance, transparency and financial management,” GB Boxing continued in its statement.
On March 1, the IBA initiated disciplinary proceedings against the presidents of several national boxing federations over the boycott, accusing them of “unethical conduct”.
“The IBA believes that there is no place for any form of discrimination in boxing and its mission is to protect its values,” he explained.
Last month, the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) wrote to countries boycotting the event to reconsider their action.
“Only a few countries have withdrawn,” Boxing Federation of India director Arun Malik told his country’s PTI news agency.
“We have countries like Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan or China. They are the strongest countries in the world,” he stressed.
Russia has twelve female boxers and Belarus has six female boxers in this World Cup.
“Sport should unite all nations,” assessed one of the Russian boxers, Ekaterina Baltseva, who said she was “proud” to represent Russia at the event.
“Protecting my country’s colors and flag is very important to me. I am going to do it with pride,” the 25-year-old said in the Indian capital.
“Beer fanatic. Bacon advocate. Wannabe travel junkie. Social media practitioner. Award-winning gamer. Food lover.”
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