Olympic boxing body mulls legal fight against IOC inquiry

The Associated Press
International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach speaks at the Australian Olympic Committee annual general meeting in Sydney, Australia, Saturday, May 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

Boxing chief criticizes IOC comments on Olympic competition

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach speaks at the Australian Olympic Committee annual general meeting in Sydney, Australia, Saturday, May 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) -- Under pressure from an IOC inquiry into its integrity, the International Boxing Association (AIBA) has been weighing legal action and formal complaints against Olympic officials.

AIBA leadership has called a meeting in Lausanne on May 15 - one week before the International Olympic Committee executive board also meets in the city to decide if the boxing body should be excluded from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics tournaments.

In an April 29 letter to colleagues, AIBA interim president Mohamed Moustahsane proposes a vote on preparing a legal challenge ''should the IOC decision ... not be favorable.''

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Moustahsane also suggests, in the letter seen by The Associated Press, complaints could be filed against ''some IOC members'' to the Olympic body's ethics commission.

The agenda items were later withdrawn in a follow-up email sent by the stand-in president.

Moustahsane, a doctor from Morocco, took over in March when elected president Gafur Rakhimov of Uzbekistan stepped aside from his duties.

Rakhimov's status on a U.S. Treasury Department sanctions list with suspected links to organized crime and international heroin trafficking is central to the IOC's concerns about AIBA's right to run Olympic boxing. He denies the allegations that he says are politically motivated.

The IOC board set up a three-member panel in November to investigate AIBA's governance, finances and integrity, with doubts about some judging decisions at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

Moustahsane dismissed a suggestion in an interview with The Associated Press last month that AIBA could appeal against the IOC at the Court of Arbitration for Sport, saying: ''This is not one of our values.''

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