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Boxing: AIBA determined to clean up the sport after judging scandals

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By Andrew Robini
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Kazakhstan's Kamshybek Kunkabayev (R) fights with Uzbekistan's Bakhodir Jalolov during the AIBA men's super heavy weight final in Yekaterinburg, Russia, Sept. 21, 2019.
Kazakhstan's Kamshybek Kunkabayev (R) fights with Uzbekistan's Bakhodir Jalolov during the AIBA men's super heavy weight final in Yekaterinburg, Russia, Sept. 21, 2019.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Anton Basanayev
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After years of financial and governing turmoil, the International Boxing Association is setting in motion a wide range of sweeping reforms in an attempt to return to the international sports fold.

Its current president Umar Kremlev, who was elected in December, has vowed to put the governing body back on a firm financial footing whilst dealing with judging scandals, one of the main areas highlighted by the International Olympic Committee when it stripped AIBA of its Olympic status in June 2019.

"What is important for AIBA is to address all of its legacy issues and put the past behind us. We need to come up with a list of names of those who have been corrupted so that we can fully solve this problem, put it behind us and make sure that those involved are not going to be part of boxing in the future," Kremlev said.

Speaking at a press conference in Lausanne on Monday, Umar Kremlev said he was confident AIBA would be welcomed back into the Olympic family after the Tokyo Games.

He reiterated that Professor Richard McLaren, the man who uncovered the full extent of Russian state-sponsored doping, would conduct a thorough investigation into judging failures at the Rio 2016 Olympics and possible financial corruption at the International Boxing Association.

AIBA’S commitment to ensuring fair refereeing was highlighted by the presence of various former boxers including multiple world champion Roy Jones Jr who was notoriously cheated out of the 1988 Olympic light middleweight title.

"What happened to me in the Seoul Olympics, I never want to see it happen to another kid. Greed causes unfairness you know what I mean so when I saw an opportunity to step in and make my sport better by trying to push fairness at the grassroot levels, I couldn’t say no," he told Euronews.

AIBA’s rebuilding process is underway and its president has made his intentions clear. Transparency, integrity and fair refereeing are the main objectives AIBA has set itself as it seeks to deal with its past in order to look ahead and move forward.