AIBA lifts USA Boxing's three-month suspension
Friday, 26 October 2012
October 26 - The International Boxing Association (AIBA) has lifted the three-month suspension it imposed on USA Boxing after its hugely controversial former President Hal Adonis was removed from the body's Board of Directors.
Earlier this year, Adonis (pictured top) was forced to step down as USA Boxing President after making outrageous comments in The New Yorker magazine, where he suggested that homosexuality was rife in female boxing and that all boxers should have suffered child abuse to prosper in the sport.
But despite stepping down as President, Adonis was allowed to retain a seat on the Board following a vote on the issue by USA Boxing in a move that infuriated AIBA.
The AIBA Disciplinary Commission hit USA Boxing with a three-month suspension from October 19 to January 19 as it stated: "By failing to remove Mr Adonis from the USA Boxing Board of Directors when it had the chance to do so, USA Boxing, in essence, endorsed Mr Adonis's statements and sent out a message that such behaviour was acceptable."
The Commission also hit Adonis with a two-year suspension from all national and international levels of USA Boxing, meaning he is no longer a Board member of the organisation.
Following discussions with AIBA President CK Wu and executive director Ho Kim, USA Boxing asked for the two-year suspension for Adonis to be kept in place, which keeps him off the Board and allows the three-month suspension on the organisation to be lifted.
"We are extremely grateful to AIBA for their willingness to lift the suspension and allow our athletes to participate in all boxing events so quickly," said USA Boxing President Charles Butler, who replaced Adonis earlier this year.
"The athletes across the country were the biggest victims of this suspension and we wanted to ensure that the mistakes of the organisation's past leadership have as little impact on them as possible.
"AIBA President Dr Wu agreed with us, lifted the suspension, and expressed strong support to protect our athletes and the membership of USA Boxing."
The vote to keep Adonis on the USA Boxing Board had drawn huge criticism after his comments in May attracted disgust from the global boxing family.
Adonis said: "When kids call me up, I say: 'Let me ask you an honest question: have your parents ever hit you?' If they say no, I say: 'I don't think you belong in boxing.'
"My father invented child abuse; I learned how to play chess when I was six years old and my father would have a strap and smack me across the face if I made the wrong move.
"So when I got on to the streets and got into boxing, I was so used to getting hit it was like, hey, this is nothing."
When he trained young boxers, Adonis said: "Before a fight I'd start smacking them real hard in the face.
"Because you feel, in boxing, the first couple punches.
"After that, the endorphins kick in and it's like someone gave you Novocain."
Then, in pointing out a female boxer to The New Yorker's interviewer, he said: "Let me tell you a story about her: she was raped by a member of her family when she was a little girl.
"Half of our girls have been molested; half of our girls are gay."
The issue is the latest embarrassment for American amateur boxing, who despite having been the strongest Olympic boxing nation in history, have struggled dramatically in recent years.
America's men completely flopped at London 2012 as they failed to win a medal and only the women from the United States managed to help the country save face with middleweight Claressa Shields claiming gold and flyweight Marlen Esparza taking bronze.
It came after they only won one boxing bronze medal at Beijing 2008, which is a far cry from the days when the likes of Cassius Clay – better known as Muhammad Ali – George Foreman and Sugar Ray Leonard would storm their way to Olympic gold medals.
The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) has said to be looking at what can be done to revamp the organisation to ensure success at the Rio 2016 Olympics.