Gafur Rakhimov will be the only candidate standing for the AIBA Presidency ©AIBA

The International Boxing Association (AIBA) has confirmed that Gafur Rakhimov will be the only candidate standing for the organisation's Presidency next month, a situation which leaves the sport's Olympic future hanging in the balance.

Rakhimov, currently the interim leader of the governing body, was expected to face a challenge from Serik Konakbayev but insidethegames exclusively revealed yesterday that the Kazakh had failed to get enough letters of support.

It means the Uzbek will run unopposed at the AIBA Congress in Moscow with his election almost certain, but boxing now faces a showdown with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) over Rakhimov's alleged criminal links.

The IOC have consistently warned that the election of Rakhimov, described by the US Treasury as "one of Uzbekistan's leading criminals", would put the sport's place on the Olympic programme at Tokyo 2020 at risk.

Rakhimov denies any allegation of wrongdoing with the IOC Executive Committee expected to discuss the issue at a two-day meeting beginning in Buenos Aires today.

As insidethegames reported yesterday Konakbayev, the Asian Boxing Confederation President and an AIBA vice president, missed the deadline on September 23 - a Sunday - to file the necessary letters from at least 20 countries supporting his candidature by only a few hours.

He has also not been named as standing for the vice president position from Asia, despite all of the other continental heads running unopposed for their respective positions.

A two-horse race between Anas Alotaiba of the United Arab Emirates and Pichai Chunhavajira of Thailand has instead been announced.

The race for the Presidency has led to severe infighting within AIBA with a campaign launched by Wales' Executive Committee member Terry Smith to get European Boxing Confederation (EUBC) President Franco Falcinelli banned.

Falcinelli, a former interim President of AIBA himself, wrote a letter calling on the sport to back the candidature of Konakbayev because of the fears over Rakhimov's potential election.

The AIBA Executive Committee has voted to refer Falcinelli to their Disciplinary Commission over claims of alleged disciplinary breaches.

They also voted to suspend Falcinelli from his membership of the Executive Committee, the EUBC and all other AIBA-related activities.

Despite this, he has still been named today as the only candidate for election in Moscow for the European vice president position.

Boxing is facing a battle to keep its Olympic place ©Getty Images
Boxing is facing a battle to keep its Olympic place ©Getty Images

Falcinelli had taken over temporarily as AIBA Interim President after helping to lead a campaign to unseat C K Wu last November following serious allegations of financial mis-management, which the Taiwanese IOC member denied.

He had been expected to stay in that role until a permanent replacement was elected but unexpectedly stepped down in January to allow Rakhimov to assume the role. 

insidethegames has been told that Falcinelli plans to bypass the Court of Arbitration for Sport and instead appeal directly to the Swiss Federal Tribunal in Lausanne to get his suspension overturned. 

AIBA today said that the election process so far had been carried out with "full transparency" in a press release which made no mention of Konakbayev.

"This is a very important step for the new AIBA," said executive director Tom Virgets. 

"We have been working hard to establish a well-planned, transparent and on-time system, of which we can be proud. 

"With all the preparations being on track, we can be sure that the Congress will take place in the most efficient way. 

"I am looking forward to welcoming all of our Members Federations in Moscow next month."

Jost Schmid, chairman of the Election Committee, added: "It was my pleasure to contribute my expertise and knowledge to the Election Committee. 

"As chairman of the Committee I take pride in knowing that the entire process has been meticulously reviewed and conducted in full independence. 

"This has been an important milestone for AIBA, one that will bring a tangible sense of integrity back to AIBA and the sport of boxing."

A full list of candidates for various roles can be found here.