Sucker Punch? IBA Boxers Cannot Take Part in Los Angeles 2028

On May 30, 2024, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) released a statement clarifying that boxers from the International Boxing Association (IBA) member federations cannot take part in the 2028 Los Angeles Olympic Games.

This follows the IBA’s recent announcement offering prize money to Paris 2024 champions and medalists in the boxing tournament. A lack of financial transparency in this regard was highlighted by the IOC which was also a reason for the withdrawal of its recognition last year by the IOC. The appeal challenging the recognition withdrawal was dismissed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) two months ago.

Though the IOC took charge of organising the boxing tournaments for Tokyo 2020 and Paris 2024, the Committee has made it clear that the same will not be the case with Los Angeles 2028. The responsibility has hence shifted to all National Boxing Federations and National Olympic Committees to do the needful to ensure that the IOC has an international federation as a partner for the sport of boxing by early 2025.

Condemning the Committee’s statement, the IBA has alleged discrimination against the sport of boxing and the IBA in particular. However, in a bid to ensure that Indian boxers are not deprived of the opportunity to participate in IOC events, the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) seeks to become a member of World Boxing, an international sports federation set up last year.[1] The onboarding of BFI is expected to increase the international federation’s presence in Asia; it is currently said to have 30 members and needs 20 more to meet the necessary requirements.