The expulsion of the International Boxing Association was confirmed at the IOC Session ©IBA

The International Boxing Association (IBA) has been expelled from the Olympic Movement at today's Extraordinary International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session.

Sixty-nine members backed the IOC Executive Board recommendation to banish the under-fire organisation, with just one voting against.

No sporting governing body has ever been expelled by the IOC before, making today's decision unprecedented.

It was a formality that the Session would back the Executive Board's stance, although 10 voting IOC members did abstain.

The expulsion comes after the IBA was initially suspended by the IOC in 2019 for issues with finances, governance and the credibility of boxing competitions. 

An IOC report on the IBA's situation concluded that the body run by President Umar Kremlev had failed to fulfil the conditions set out for lifting the suspension.

It led to the Extraordinary Session being called today so the move to kick-out the IBA could be rubber-stamped.

There are now fears of an exodus of countries to World Boxing - the rival body set-up to try and ensure the sport's Olympic status.

The IBA does have the right to appeal but had already failed with a bid at the Court of Arbitration for Sport to block the Executive Board recommendation.

Bach told the Session that the IOC had an "extremely serious problem with the IBA".

Umar Kremlev had said the IOC would be making a
Umar Kremlev had said the IOC would be making a "grave historical mistake" if it expelled the IBA ©Getty Images

IOC director general Christophe De Kepper added that the organisation had "reached the point of no return".

"We do not have a problem with the sport of boxing," said Bach.

"We do not have a problem with the boxers.

"We appreciate boxing as one of the most global sports.

"If we had a problem with boxers then there would not have been an Olympic competition in Tokyo, there would be no competition in Paris.

"Unfortunately as you will have seen from the file, you can see we have an extremely serious problem with the IBA because of their governance.

"Because we value the sport of boxing so much, we believe the boxers fully deserve to be governed by an international federation with integrity and transparency." 

The IBA had delivered a 400-page report to the IOC which claimed to address the concerns.

Kremlev has repeatedly blamed former President CK Wu - the former IOC Executive Board member who led the governing body between 2006 and 2017 - for the organisation's troubles.

Wu was later banned for life by the IBA for "gross negligence and financial mismanagement" but has not been sanctioned by the IOC, which he left as a member in 2020, citing medical advice.

Last week, Kremlev claimed Wu should be "shot" for "destroying boxing" in comments that have been widely condemned, including by the IOC.

The Russian said expulsion would be a "grave historical mistake" and the IBA previously claimed that the recommendation to expel was "truly abhorrent and purely political".

However, despite consistently defending itself, the IBA did sack secretary general George Yerolimpos last week with  its fate already inevitable. 

Even before the Kremlev era, the IOC had been angered when the IBA appointed Uzbekistan's Gafur Rakhimov as President, a man with alleged links to heroin trafficking. 

De Kepper said not enough progress had been made between the IBA's suspension in 2019 and today, and conditions for reinstatement had not been met.

Thomas Bach at today's Extraordinary IOC Session ©IOC
Thomas Bach at today's Extraordinary IOC Session ©IOC

"The IBA failed to effectively implement in its practice and activities the principle of good governance," De Kepper said.

"In particular the requested drastic change in the governance culture did not occur.

"Therefore the IBA's evolution is still not sufficient to consider that the IBA's actual governance is effective in its practice and activities as set out in the roadmap."

Kremlev, who also caused controversy by allowing Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete under their own flags despite the invasion of Ukraine, has often pointed to the increased prize money on offer at IBA events as a reason to back his leadership.

But this set alarm bells off at the IOC due to a controversial sponsorship deal with gas giant Gazprom.

The IBA has claimed that it did not renew its deal with the Russian state-owned energy company after it finished at the end of last year, even though Kremlev had asked at the Congress in Abu Dhabi just a few weeks earlier whether members were happy for it to continue.

"All this contradictory information appears to be a sign of the IBA's lack of financial transparency and reliability," the IOC has noted.

A move by the IBA which requested partners Ernst & Young and PricewaterhouseCoopers to sign non-disclosure agreements, so information could not be shared, is also considered suspicious by those in Lausanne.

"With regards to financial security it has been noted that the IBA reduced its indebtedness," said De Kepper.

"However due to the constant cash flow issues, its ability to continue operating for the period beyond June 30, 2023 appears to be conditional on the IBA to find new sustainable sources of revenue.

"It is understood that IBA sources of revenues were primarily from the previous contract with Gazprom.

"So far no new sources of revenue were demonstrated by any new signed contracts.

"The absence of sustainable financing and the dependence on a state owned former sponsor has not been remedied which demonstrates that the IBA did not remedy its financial governance culture."

On refereeing and judging, De Kepper said the IBA did not take on board knowledge learnt by the IOC Task Force which ran the boxing tournament at Tokyo 2020 in the IBA's absence.

It followed huge judging scandals at Rio 2016.

De Kepper added that the IBA sent communications to national bodies which were in contradiction to the IOC's qualification system, which might have "jeopardised" the IOC's ability to stage boxing at Paris 2024.

This, De Kepper claimed, showed "disrespect" to the boxing community.

"The IOC has constantly and patiently tried to help in the three areas of concern," he said.

"There has been a constant lack of drastic evolution throughout the many years.

"It creates a situation of no return.

"The IBA was unable to provide the elements to allow the lifting of its suspension.

"It is not possible to reach any other conclusion than agree with the IOC's analysis.

"The situation is so serious that the only proportionate conclusion is to withdraw recognition of the IBA."