Boxing India provisionally approved by AIBA but status with IOA remains unclear

By Manali Kulkarni

On September 11, Boxing India (BI) held its elections, which were a necessary prerequisite for their membership to the International Boxing Association (AIBA).1 Despite concerns from the IOA2, the elections were deemed conducted in a transparent manner and were approved by the AIBA representatives present.3

Consequently, on September 16, AIBA’s Executive Committee4 formally recognised BI as its provisional member5 for Indian boxing, allowing Indian boxers to compete under the national flag.6 Provisional members need to be ratified by AIBA’s Congress to become a fully fledged national federation (see Article 9.2 AIBA Statutes7). It is not clear whether this has occurred yet, although AIBA have clarified that the IOA ad hoc panel, which had been holding the reins for Indian boxing after the previous body was de-recognised, is no longer recognised as the governing body.8

AIBA has also advised BI to seek the Indian Olympic Association’s (IOA’s)9 approval10, as it will affect their and their boxers ability to participate in future competitions patronised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Pursuant to Article 1011 of the Olympic Council of Asia's12 (OCA) Constitution and Rules (and Rule 27 (Part 3) and Rule 2913 of Chapter 4 of the Olympic Charter), National Olympic Committees (i.e. the IOA in India) “have the sole responsibility to select, register and participate the athletes and the officials for OCA Games” and IOA affiliated events, like the 2014 Asian Games presently taking place in Incheon, South Korea.

The 2014 Asian Games has been complicated for Indian boxers, with their governing body changing from the IOA ad hoc panel to BI during the build up to the event. The boxers were actually approved by the IOA ad hoc panel, which was still in effect when the nominations were submitted on September 9;14 BI’s approval from their International Federation, AIBA, then allowed them to take over from the ad hoc committee just in time for the Games, allowing Indian boxers to compete under the Indian flag.15  

Official approval from the IOA will be important for BI going forward however, for their participation in future IOA patronised events. 

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About the Author

Manali Kulkarni

Manali Kulkarni

Manali is the COO at LawInSport and executive contributor of the editorial board for LawInSport. She holds an LLM in Sports Law from Nottingham Law School (Nottingham Trent University).

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