PtG Article 27.06.2007

Boxing federation bans ex-president and expels secretary general

The executive committee of the International Boxing Federation (AIBA) has begun a regular show-down with the legacy of corruption the organisation inherited from former president Anwar Chowdhry. Based on a report from its own ethics commission, AIBA banned the former president for life and expelled its suspended secretary general, Caner Doganelli.

The television station NBC Sports has obtained a copy of the report from AIBA’s ethics commission which outlines a series of financial regularities during Chowdhry’s 20 year long reign from 1986 to 2006.

According to NBC Sport, the report says that AIBA’s financial reports routinely were not filed; documentation for expenses were variously unclear or missing; the federation operated amid a number of finance-related conflicts of interest; and petty cash was improperly used for private affairs and not properly accounted for.

The report also says that Chowdhry treated AIBA as his personal property where rules were disregarded and greed was rampant. In all, the report describes the Chowdhry years as “a saga of bad or poor management, dereliction of duty, total lack of governance, greed, breach of rules and law, gross negligence and possibly criminal acts cascading down from the very top of AIBA’s former administration.”

The ethics report was based on an auditor’s report for the period 2003-2006, and at a meeting in Lausanne last week, AIBA agreed to “immediately, irrevocably and definitely part” with all officials or bodies connected with irregularities cited in the report, a press statement reads.

This includes the federation’s now ousted secretary general, Caner Doganelli. According to NBC Sports’ peak into the AIBA ethics commision report, Doganelli has denied any wrongdoing and strongly and repeatedly insisted that blame lies “nearly exclusively” with Chowdhry whom Donganelli tried to “oppose from the inside for the benefit of AIBA.” 

The reform process began last year when C.K. Wu from Taiwan was narrowly elected new president of AIBA. He is satisfied with last week’s decisions.

“This is a clear and tangible sign that in the new AIBA, we will not tolerate any violation of the AIBA code of ethics. We are well on the way to restoring confidence and credibility within this organisation and today's decision will advance that process even further,” Wu said according to AIBA’s press statement. 

New twist in case of suspended vice president

Meanwhile the strange story about AIBA’s Russian vice president, Eduard Khusainov, has taken a new twist.

Khusainov was suspended from AIBA in February this year when allegations surfaced in some media that he had been convicted of terrorist crimes. He was prevented from taking part in an executive committee meeting although compelling evidence was put forward at the time that boxing’s Eduard Khusainov had been mistaken for a younger namesake in Russia who had indeed been convicted of associating with Hizb-ut-Tahrir. 

The case was referred to AIBA’s busy ethics commission and subsequently to the executive committee that has now concluded that those illegations were ill founded and there should be no investigation in this regard, according to an open letter to AIBA national member federations posted on AIBA’s website.

Nevertheless, Khusainov is now suing AIBA president C.K. Wu in a court in Lausanne for defamation and libel over the allegations, the International Herald Tribune reports.

However, Khusainov’s suspension has not been lifted. The reason is - according to the open letter - that the executive committee has “learnt of other facts and circumstances which require further investigation.” What these facts and circumstances are, AIBA does not want to tell the public or its own members.

In the meantime, Khusainov himself has stepped down from the post as president of the Russian Boxing Federation to be replaced by former Russian sports minister Boris Ivanyuzhenkov, the Russian newspaper Kommersant reported back in April.

The move took place in an attempt to ease relations between the Russian Federation and AIBA, Leonid Tyagachev, the president of the Russian Olympic Committee, told the Russian newsletter All Sport.

“He has worked for the development of boxing in Russia, for consolidation of its position in the world. But it is not true to say that there were no mistakes. As people say, the only one who does not make mistakes is the one who does nothing. You would not believe me if I say that AIBA’s decision to take the World Boxing Championship 2007 away from Moscow has not influenced this decision. Soon another person will be elected, who can improve the relationship between AIBA and RBF,” said Tyagachev.

Gerhard Heiberg, chairman of both the AIBA Reform Committee and the International Olympic Committee Marketing Commission, will be speaking at Play the Game 2007. To learn more about Play the Game 2007, the fifth world communication conference on sport and society, click here .

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