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Could Boxing and Weightlifting Be Next Up on USOC Chopping Block?

8 Aug, 2018

By: Michael Popke

The international governing bodies for weightlifting and boxing are in wait-and-see mode as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) determines the fate of their sports in future Games.

The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) and the International Boxing Association (ABIA) are seeking clarity “as to the criteria they need to adhere to in order to remain part of the Olympic Games,” according to the Olympics news website Inside the Games.

“Financial payments to AIBA remain suspended after the [IOC] Executive Board ‘highlighted its significant ongoing concern with a number of key areas including governance, ethical and financial management that require further information and some confirmation,’” according to the site.

Weightlifting, meanwhile, is guaranteed for the Tokyo Games in 2020 but remains “on probation” as the IWF updates IOC officials on the progress of its anti-doping efforts. The federation also must detail for the IOC Executive Board how it is meeting specified criteria. Until then, weightlifting’s status at the 2024 Olympics in Paris remains up in the air.

"It is very important for our sport, very important for our future, and therefore we will fight to the utmost now to prove to the world that weightlifting is a clean sport and a beautiful sport,” Patrick Schamasch, chairman of the IWF’s Anti-Doping Commission told the governing body’s Congress in early July.

According to Inside the Games, “both AIBA and IWF will now have to wait until the Executive Board convenes for its meeting in Tokyo from November 30 to December 2 for a further update on their respective situations.”

Here’s hoping the issues get resolved, as the Olympics can be a springboard for local communities to boost their economies with boxing (and wrestling) events.

In 2017, USA Boxing sanctioned 1,049 local events, many of them small one-day shows put on by a boxing club in a given city. Then there are the bigger events: The National Golden Gloves Boxing Tournament of Champions, one of USA Boxing’s signature events, boasted a total economic impact of $3,675,000 (and 4,200 total room nights) when the Lafayette (La.) Convention & Visitors Commission, Ragin’ Cajun Boxing Club and Townsquare Media hosted the week-long event last year. More than 1,000 boxers, coaches and officials from 50 states, plus 7,500 spectators, attended, and the event helped Lafayette win a 2017 Champions of Economic Impact Award from Sports Destination Management.

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