By Tom Degun at ExCel Arena in London

Womens boxing_in_mini_skirtsNovember 25 - CK Wu, President of the International Boxing Association (AIBA), has promised that he wants women to have the option of whether to wear skirts or shorts when the sport makes its Olympic debut at the London 2012 Games.

It had been widely reported that the international governing body will force women to wear skirts rather than the shorts at the Olympics but Wu insisted such statements are inaccurate because the AIBA has not made any decision on the uniform for female boxers.

He revealed that final decision will be made an AIBA Executive Committee meeting in January 2012 but that his preference, and the most likely scenario, is the uniform will be optional.

"I would really like to take this opportunity to reassure people on the issue of women's uniform because a lot of unnecessary concern has developed around this particular issue," Wu told insidethegames during an exclusive interview here at the London 2012 boxing test.

"AIBA conducted a study on uniforms for boxers, particularly on uniforms for women boxers, to see what is preferred by the various federations and most importantly by the boxers themselves.

"The research involves us seeking a consensus from the worldwide boxing family and the wider public for reference purposes.

"There are a variety of different opinions, particularly from the boxers, because some women prefer fighting in shorts and some prefer fighting in skirts.

"It is quite divided.

"AIBA plans to call an AIBA Technical and Rules Commission meeting in January 2012 to discuss the issue.

"The AIBA Women's Commission will also be heavily involved in the discussions.

"They will then offer recommendations to the AIBA Executive Committee based on the information collected from the research before a final decision is made and announced publically to the world.

"At this point in time, no decision has been made at all.

"But I must say that the most likely decision is that the uniform will be optional for women.

"Some like skirts and some don't like skirts so I think we should keep the freedom for the athletes.

"But that is my opinion so it is unofficial at the moment because we must respect the Technical and Rules Commission and wait for what they decide from their research at their official meeting in January.

"It has become a very hot issue in the media but some of the reports are wrong because we have never made skirts compulsory or mandatory for women at all.

"Some people have maybe overreacted a little bit but I can confirm to them that AIBA has not made any final decision on the issue; that will come in January and be made public to all."

CK Wu_behind_name_badgeWu (pictured), who is also an International Olympic Committee (IOC) member, has long been a major force for women's boxing and he was instrumental in getting the sport included on the Olympic programme for the first time ever.

"This is a historic and very proud moment having women's boxers competing at an Olympic test event," he said.

"But another very important point is that we also have women here as referees and judges.

"That shows just how important women are in the AIBA programme, not just in terms of boxing but in terms of officiating as well.

"It also shows that we are making great strides in helping women become more involved in the sport and that will continue."

Wu added that he was very pleased to see boxing taking place at the famous ExCel London's Docklands and that he is impressed with the set up for the four-day boxing test event which began today.

"We are very happy with the ExCel and the arena looks very good," he said.

"There are huge screens up so the action is clear to everyone and this test event is very important because that if there are any problems here, they can be fixed in time for the Olympics."

Following the conclusion of the London 2012 test event on Sunday (November 27) AIBA will hold their Annual Awards Ceremony with Wu set to present Azerbaijan's Magomedrasul Medzhidov with the 2011 Elite Boxer of Year trophy after the super heavyweight star won gold at the AIBA World Championships last month by beating England's Anthony Joshua 22-21 in a thrilling final.

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