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Transparency highlighted in Tokyo 2020 Olympic boxing regulations

Boxing event 2018 Getty Images

Following consultation with athletes, the IOC Boxing Task Force has confirmed today that the Technical & Competition Rules to be applied at the Olympic Boxing Qualifying Events and the boxing tournament at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 will include the end-of-round display of scoring and other measures aimed at increasing clarity, transparency and integrity.

In line with the primary mandate of delivering the Olympic Boxing Qualifying Events and the boxing tournament for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, and considering the importance of focusing on the athletes, the IOC Boxing Task Force has complemented existing International Boxing Association (AIBA) regulations with specific amendments to deliver its commitment to transparency while minimising the impact on boxers.

After receiving the support of the Athlete Ambassadors, the IOC Boxing Task Force has emphasised transparency and confirmed that the judges’ scores of all rounds will now be displayed at the end of each round.

In the critical area of integrity of the referees and judges, all officials will be selected from the IOC Boxing Task Force pool of eligible officials, which will consist of qualified AIBA-certified individuals who have been reviewed to ensure they meet the selection criteria (see the linked document for selection criteria). The IOC Boxing Task Force will then randomly select every official for each competition from the pool of eligible individuals.

The full referee and judge selection process will be conducted under the independent supervision of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and include extensive independent background checks of each individual. No referees or judges involved in the Olympic Games Rio 2016 will be eligible to participate in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic boxing qualifiers or Olympic competition. Download a summary version of the Boxing Technical Officials Selection Process here.

Other amendments to existing AIBA regulations reflect previous IOC and IOC Boxing Task Force decisions regarding the selection of participating athletes, with the National Federations (NFs) and their respective National Olympic Committees (NOCs) having the joint responsibility for ensuring that boxers meet the technical requirements to compete.

The Chair of the IOC Boxing Task Force, Mr Morinari Watanabe, said: “The main objective of the IOC Boxing Task Force is to ensure the completion of the mission of delivering events, while putting the boxers first, and with transparent and credible sporting results and fair play.”

“It is only fair to the boxers not to change the fundamental competition rules so close to the Olympic qualifiers and the Olympic competition in Tokyo. The IOC Boxing Task Force has therefore focused on the full review of the rules enforced by AIBA in the current year of 2019, limiting changes which impact on boxers while increasing transparency by displaying the scoring and in the selection process for referees and judges.”

Boxing Athlete Ambassador Shelley Watts (AUS), a 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medallist and Rio 2016 Olympian, said: “The IOC Boxing Task Force amendments to the AIBA Rules will have a positive impact on the conduct of Olympic Boxing Qualifying Events and at Tokyo 2020, as they focus on key areas such as clarity, transparency and integrity. These amendments are the result of an inclusive decisional process that took into consideration the athletes’ voice: we made sure that changes will not impact the dynamics of the current practice of the sport, while improving the standard of the competitions.”

The AIBA Rules, effective as of 9 February 2019, and following the IOC Boxing Task Force Amendments, shall constitute the Tokyo 2020 IOC Boxing Task Force Event Regulations, applicable at the Olympic Boxing Qualifying Events and the boxing tournament at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

Download the “Event Regulations for the Olympic Boxing Qualifying Events and the Boxing Tournament at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020” here.

Background information

The creation of the IOC Boxing Task Force by the IOC Executive Board (EB) followed the recommendation by the IOC EB on 22 May – approved by the IOC Session on 26 June – that boxing keep its place on the Tokyo 2020 programme, but that recognition of the International Boxing Association (AIBA) by the IOC should be suspended and evaluated after Tokyo 2020.

The decision was based on the recommendations of the Inquiry Committee set up by the IOC EB on 30 November 2018 over concerns about AIBA in the areas of finance, governance, ethics and refereeing and judging.

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