Exclusive: Calls for USOC to investigate USA Boxing

Monday, 03 December 2012
By Tom Degun

usa boxingDecember 3 - The influential Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission has called on the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) to launch a full and detailed review of USA Boxing following the numerous problems that have blighted the organisation in recent years.

USA Boxing came under fire following a disastrous London 2012 that saw the strongest Olympic boxing nation in history fail to win a single medal in the men's category.

It was only the women from that managed to help the country save face with middleweight Claressa Shields claiming gold and flyweight Marlen Esparza taking bronze.

More embarrassment followed for USA Boxing as they were hit with a three-month suspension from the International Boxing Association (AIBA) for retaining their hugely controversial former President Hal Adonis on their Board of Directors.

Adonis 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.

AIBA's suspension was only lifted when Adonis was removed from the Board.

Hal Adonis 26-10-121 Controversial former USA Boxing President Hal Adonis (right) has been the source of many problems for the organisation

But USA Boxing continue to face huge criticism for the way the organisation is run and Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission executive director Gregory P Sirb has gone directly to the USOC to ask them to help clear up the organisation.

"This is to request for a full and detailed review of the USA Amateur Boxing organisation that is now in existence," said Sirb in a letter to the USOC which has been seen by insidethegames.

"This group has failed miserably over the years and it is now time to either have a complete overhaul of how this organisation is operating or pull their charter and appoint a new organisation to oversee amateur boxing in the United States."

Sirb highlights continuing money problems within USA Boxing as a problem as well as the "the consistently declining performance of its Olympic boxers" but particularly attacks the organisation's hierarchy.

"The USOC, which has the power to restructure or remove USA Boxing,  really needs to look at this situation now so that a new group has the necessary time to revise the Olympic boxing spirit and be ready to compete in Brazil," writes Sirb.

"The bottom line is that USA Boxing has failed.

"If the USOC would just take the time to listen to some of the grass root members who run the Local Boxing Committees - many that do a great deal of work for very little pay - I think the vast majority would agree that the current system is broken.

"The USOC must take a hard look at USA Boxing to see if they are really the best way to govern and supervise amateur boxing in the United States.

"I think there is a much better way."

Sirb goes on to make a number of suggestions to the USOC, including "to revamp the way the current Olympic team is selected."

"Right now, there is way too much politics involved," he said.

Following London 2012, the USOC were said to be hugely disappointed with the performances of the boxers.

Senior figures within the USOC said they were starting to look at what could be done to revamp the organisation to ensure success at the Rio 2016 Olympics but the call from Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission could help force the issue.

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