International Boxing Association (AIBA) Executive Committee member Terry Smith has contributed to boxing's place at Tokyo 2020 being put in serious jeopardy by misleading the membership regarding warnings from the International Olympic Committee (IOC), it was claimed here today.
The IOC Executive Board also cast doubt on the validity of AIBA's election process following a meeting here.
In a statement, the IOC "expressed its ongoing extreme concern with the grave situation within AIBA and its current governance".
The "misleading communication within the AIBA membership regarding the IOC's position" was one of the reasons boxing's spot at Tokyo 2020 is still under serious threat, the IOC claimed.
insidethegames understands this refers to letters sent by Smith to fellow members of the AIBA Executive Committee and National Federations, which contradicted direct warnings from the IOC concerning Gafur Rakhimov's candidacy for President of the world governing body.
IOC chief ethics and compliance officer Päquerette Girard Zappelli urged interim President Rakhimov, described as "one of Uzbekistan's leading criminals" by the USs Treasury Department, not to stand for the the position on a permanent basis.
In a letter, seen by insidethegames, Zappelli wrote it will be "crucial in the best interests of boxing within the Olympic Movement that only candidates benefiting from a full clean situation can stand for the President's position".
Smith, a member of the group which led the coup against former AIBA President C K Wu who was initially removed from the Executive Committee before being reinstated, denied the existence of the letter.
He claimed a letter sent by AIBA executive vice-president Franco Falcinelli, who urged the Executive Committee to back Kazakhstan's Serik Konakbayev over Rakhimov in the race to become the next President following the threats from the IOC, was full of "blatant untruths and inaccuracies".
In a lengthy document addressed to Executive Committee members, also seen by insidethegames, Smith claimed the IOC "did not send an official letter to AIBA".
He also goes on to insist Zappeli "did not assert that Mr Rahimov was ineligible to run for the AIBA Presidency".
It is believed Smith sent similar letters to National Federations.
The IOC Executive Board also highlighted "the circumstances of the establishment of the election list" as another serious concern.
Earlier today, Rakhimov was officially confirmed as the only candidate to become the new President of AIBA after the organisation revealed Konakbayev had not received the required 20 nominations to stand.
The Uzbek is now set to be elected President on a permanent basis at the AIBA Congress in Moscow on November 2 and 3.
Smith also called for Falcinelli, also President of the European Boxing Confederation, to be suspended in a dispute which plunged AIBA into further crisis.
The Italian has since been banned while his case is decided by the AIBA Disciplinary Commission.