A committee tasked with overseeing an inquiry into the International Boxing Association (AIBA) has held its first meeting since it was established in December, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has confirmed.
A spokesperson for the IOC told insidethegames the meeting took place in Lausanne last Wednesday (January 16) and that the probe, initiated due to ongoing issues with AIBA's governance, financial management and integrity of its competitions, was "progressing".
It comes after AIBA raised concerns over the delay in the IOC formalising the next steps in its inquiry, including the confirmation of the qualification process for a possible Olympic boxing tournament at Tokyo 2020.
AIBA chief executive Tom Virgets told insidethegames last week that the boxers were "suffering" as a result.
AIBA President Gafur Rakhimov, whose election to the top job at the embattled organisation is the principle issue outlined by the IOC owing to his name featuring on a United States Treasury Department sanctions list as "one of Uzbekistan's leading criminals", had requested a preliminary "kick-off" meeting with the Inquiry Commission.
insidethegames understands the IOC has not responded to the request and officials from AIBA were not present at last week's meeting.
The Inquiry Committee, led by IOC Executive Board member Nenad Lalovic, will assess AIBA's progress in addressing the concerns highlighted by the IOC and will make a recommendation to the Executive Board, which is not due to hold its next meeting until the end of March.
The group also includes double Olympic ice hockey bronze medallist Emma Terho, an athlete representative elected as an IOC member at Pyeongchang 2018, and Richard Carrion, Thomas Bach's closest challenger in the Presidential race in 2013 and now the executive chairman of Popular, Inc, the parent company of Banco Popular de Puerto Rico and Popular Bank.
The inquiry could lead to AIBA losing the right to organise the Olympic boxing event at Tokyo 2020, which is expected to take place with or without the input of the sport's governing body.
IOC officials are hopeful final confirmation of whether there will be an Olympic boxing competition at Tokyo 2020 - and who will organise it - will come at the Session in Lausanne in June.
IOC President Bach reassured athletes that a boxing event will be held in some form at the Games in two years' time but its exact nature continues to remain unclear, which Virgets claimed was unfair on the athletes in the sport.
In a statement released today, AIBA said 2019 would be a "a year of action and of renewal for AIBA".
"We have reflected on the lessons learned from the past and, looking forward, we have big ambitions to develop our sport to its fullest potential," the organisation added.
AIBA officials including Executive Committee members Pat Fiacco and Terry Smith gathered in the Olympic Capital last week in preparation for the organisation's Executive Committee meeting in Istanbul from February 8 to 9.
A report from PricewaterhouseCoopers into the boxing event at last year's Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, put in place to protect the integrity of the competition, was among the main topics on the agenda.
It is claimed the officials reviewed all 21 observations from the audit and "developed strategies for implementation of each".