PtG Article 22.12.2006

New boxing president sets up reform committee to clear up corruption

The International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) wants to clean up its reputation as a corrupt and controversial organisation. As one of his first acts in office, the newly elected president Ching-Kuo Wu has set up a reform committee and appointed IOC executive board member Gerhard Heiberg as its chairman.

The International Olympic Committee froze its payments to AIBA after accusations of bribery and corruption over scoring and judging at the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004.  The former president of AIBA, Anwar Chowdry, has also been accused of personal corruption during his 20 year reign.

In November, Chowdry lost the presidency to Ching-Kuo Wu from Chinese Taipei and Wu has immediately turned his attention to giving boxing a fresh start. He has hired auditors PriceWaterHouseCoopers to conduct a full audit of all accounting books of AIBA for the period of 2002 – 2006 and together with Gerhard Heiberg he has set up a reform committee with 11 members – seven outside professionals and four AIBA representatives.

According to AIBA’s website, the reform committee will have its first meeting on February 11 – 15 inTaipei next year. Before this meeting, a massive survey to collect the voices of federations will be conducted and all boxing specialists around the world will have the opportunity to present their opinions to the Committee.

Meanwhile the IOC has already decided to release some of the frozen IABA funds. The AIBA has  proposed a new judging system that will secure fair fights and accountability of judges, and the IOC has released 450,000 US dollars to purchase equipment for the new system.

IOC member Dennis Oswald told Reuters that once the system shows it is working well and is contributing to fair decisions, the IOC will consider releasing the remaining funds.