Gazprom remains the general partner of IBA, despite Russia's invasion of Ukraine ©Getty Images

The International Boxing Association (IBA) plans to retain Russian state-owned energy company Gazprom as its general partner despite the threat of sanctions from Western nations, the IBA confirmed to insidethegames.

Following Russia's invasion of neighbouring Ukraine, Russian banks and businesses have been hit with economic sanctions in retaliation.

While Gazprom has largely avoided punishment from Western Governments so far, further sanctions are expected and its role in sport has already been diminished.

German football team Schalke 04 has dropped the company as its shirt sponsor, while UEFA is widely reported to be taking legal advice on how to get out of a long-term contract with Gazprom.

The IBA told insidethegames that Gazprom is still its general partner, however.

"IBA remains deeply concerned by the conflict in Ukraine and will continue to monitor it carefully," the IBA said.

"IBA's current commercial agreements remain in place.

"Over the past year, IBA has been able to promote the development of boxing worldwide with renewed support and will continue to do so, notably with ongoing initiatives to promote peace through sport."

Gazprom is of enormous economic importance to the Russian Government, alongside petroleum corporations Rosneft and Lukoil.

Russia is facing extensive sanctions across all sectors following its invasion of Ukraine ©Getty Images
Russia is facing extensive sanctions across all sectors following its invasion of Ukraine ©Getty Images

The trio paid RUB3.2 trillion (£28 billion/$38 billion/€34 billion) in tax and other payments to the Government in 2020

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has previously raised concern over Gazprom's sponsorship of the IBA, claiming that it is in danger of being overly dependent on one company for its revenue.

The IBA, then known as AIBA, did not share its contract with the IOC and also signed a non-disclosure agreement meaning it could not reveal how much money it was receiving from Gazprom.

The IBA's financial situation was a key factor in the IOC's decision to suspend it as the Olympic governing body for boxing in June 2019.

An IOC Boxing Task Force oversaw the boxing tournament at Tokyo 2020, and the sport has been left off the initial programme for Los Angeles 2028.

The IOC suggested that the IBA's financial dependence on single sources of revenue from external investors was one of the reasons for its high level of debt, which at one point had reached at least $16 million (£11 million/€14 million).

If Gazprom were subject to heavy sanctions it could spell danger for the IBA, if the IOC's concern is warranted.

However, the IBA told insidethegames that Gazprom remains its general partner and that is not currently aware of any sanctions impacting International Federations

Schalke this week dropped Gazprom as its shirt sponsor following Russia's military intervention in Ukraine and replaced it with the name of the team

UEFA has also come under heavy pressure to cut its ties with the gas giant which has sponsored its club competitions for more than a decade.

It is estimated that Gazprom's 2018-2021 deal with UEFA was worth €40 million (£33 million/$44 million) a year.

UEFA has moved this season's Champions League final from Saint Petersburg to Paris following the Russian offensive, which has led to heavy fighting and hundreds of deaths.