Boxing’s place at the Olympic Games is under serious threat after the sport was left off the initial sports list for the 2028 Games in Los Angeles.
The list was approved by the 139th Session of the International Olympic Committee in Beijing earlier today and omitted both boxing and weightlifting while including skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing in an initial programme that has a strong focus on youth.
The IOC has left open the possibility of boxing being added to a revised list next year if the Amateur International Boxing Association has by then “successfully addressed the ongoing concerns around its governance, its financial transparency and sustainability, and the integrity of its refereeing and judging processes”.
Boxing’s spot at future Games has been in doubt since an independent investigation revealed in September that Michael’s Conlan’s controversial loss in the 2016 Olympic Games was the result of “bout manipulation”.
The Belfast boxer lost in a widely contested split decision to Russia's Vladimir Nikitin in the bantamweight quarter-finals and the investigation led by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren found that it was one of as many as 11 fights during the boxing tournament in Rio that were fixed.
The investigation followed a request from the Amateur International Boxing Association (AIBA) to delve into alleged misconduct, after the organisation was suspended by the IOC following its own four-month review of the 2016 tournament.
In a statement responding to the report, AIBA said it "noted the findings regarding the Rio 2016 boxing tournament with concern and confirmed that extensive reforms have been implemented to ensure sporting integrity at current AIBA competitions".
"AIBA hired Professor McLaren because we have nothing to hide,” the current AIBA president Umar Kremlev added.
"There should be no place in the AIBA family for anyone who has fixed a fight."
The 28 sports included in the IOC’s initial 2028 core sports are athletics, rowing, badminton, basketball, canoe and kayaking, cycling, equestrian, fencing, football, golf, gymnastics, handball, hockey, judo, wrestling, swimming, rugby, taekwondo. tennis. table tennis, shooting, archery, triathlon, sailing, volleyball, surfing, skating and sport climbing