Boxing-Russia's Kremlev offers to settle AIBA debt

Russian boxing official Umar Kremlev has reiterated his offer to clear debts of the governing body of amateur boxing (AIBA) to protect the interests of boxers and preserve the organisation.

May 29 (Reuters) - Russian boxing official Umar Kremlev has reiterated his offer to clear debts of the governing body of amateur boxing (AIBA) to protect the interests of boxers and preserve the organisation.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) recommended the suspension of AIBA last week after publishing a 30-page report following an inquiry into the finances and governance of the organisation which has been in turmoil for years.

It added that a task force would be set up to organise the boxing competitions, including qualification events ahead of the Olympic Games in Japan next year.

Kremlev, an AIBA executive committee member and secretary general of the Russian Boxing Federation, called for "serious reforms" and suggested that clearing their reported $16 million debt was the first step, an offer he first made in March.

"Although the current leadership of AIBA for unknown reasons refused my proposal to close debts... it still remains in force. I'm ready to help in the shortest possible time to pay off debts," Kremlev said in a statement.

"For this, a special fund will be created in which people, individuals and legal entities who are not indifferent to boxing, will attract funds, including me.

"Our goal is to protect the interests of boxers and coaches, to preserve the main organization that has been managing our sport for more than 70 years. For this you need to do real things, putting boxing above any personal interests."

Kremlev said all steps to close the debt would be made public and promised a clear and transparent process.

"My goal isn't to become the head of AIBA, but to help reanimate the organisation," he added.

"We must move from words to deeds, to convene an extraordinary congress, where to invite observers from the IOC and from the sports community, and where to hold elections and change the system, to re-elect the entire AIBA leadership."

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru Editing by Christian Radnedge)

((Shrivathsa.Sridhar@thomsonreuters.com; Reuters Messaging: shrivathsa.sridhar.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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