For the last couple of years, the International Boxing Association (AIBA) has been at odds with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to the point that boxing could be left out of the 2020 Olympic rotation, but a Russian official could potentially get the AIBA out of trouble.
Umar Kremlev, an AIBA executive committee member, wrote in a statement that he is ready to cover all debts that the AIBA currently owes. The debts, which add up to more than $16 million, has been one of various reasons as to why boxing is in danger of not being in the 2020 Olympics, taking place in Tokyo. Kremlev has been the secretary general of the Russian boxing federation since 2017.
"I am ready to close all the debts of AIBA in full, so long as our favorite sport remains in the Olympic program," Kremlev wrote.
The fate of boxing being a part of the Olympics next year will be decided on May 22, potentially closing a chapter in the seemingly never-ending saga that is amateur boxing and its many problems.
The current problems with the AIBA aren't limited to finances and multi-million dollar debts as the organization has had an ongoing struggle with its top positions and the controversial figures that have taken those positions.
Gafur Rakhimov, who was elected the new president of the AIBA months ago, a decision that the IOC strongly recommended against doing if boxing was to make it into the 2020 Olympic lineup, recently declared his intention to step aside from his position. Rakhimov, an Uzbek businessman, has been accused by the U.S. Treasury as being linked to the global heroin trade.
AIBA has been under scrutiny for the past couple of years after controversial judging took place in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. The AIBA was then revealed to be under financial stress, which led to the exit of C.K. Wu as president of the organization prior to Rakhimov's election to the position. Back in February 2018, the IOC started making threats to the AIBA of taking out boxing for the 2020 Games unless serious improvements are made.