PtG Article 06.10.2009

Wu: IOC should give moral support, but not interfere

The president of the world boxing Ching-Kuo Wu has had a hard time getting his federation clean

“Imagine how hard it is to overthrow a president who has been in charge for 20 years. I had to travel the world seven times!”

Ching-Kuo Wu, President of the world boxing association AIBA, is one of the few international federation presidents who knows what it takes to clean up a sport ridden by corruption. At a newsmaker breakfast organized by the magazine Around the Rings in Copenhagen 6 October on the occasion of the IOC meetings in Copenhagen, the Taiwanese head of boxing told about his experiences.

“ I have had to expel two Vice-Presidents, one Secretary General and five board members. This has not been easy, but is has set an example. Now everybody knows that it is not possible to work like before. We must work in a transparent way.”

Until Wu defeated the Pakistani AIBA President Anwar Chowdry on a very narrow margin in 2006, AIBA was tormented by quite obvious corruption scandals in judging as well as in its administration, and very often in an staggering blend of the two.

Already at Play the Game 2000 in Copenhagen the Norwegian Gerhard Heiberg threatened that boxing could be dropped from the Olympic programme (read article here). After Wu’s election Heiberg became chairman of a new reform committee in AIBA, and since then a number of changes have been made. The old president was been banned, ethical reforms introduced, and most lately a new transparent system has been introduced. Furthermore, judges will be monitored by a camera and recordings used to evaluate their work.

Before Ching-Kuo Wu from Taiwan stood up against the President, he had prepared himself carefully, he told:

“When I made the decision that is was time for a change, I made a clear strategy and wrote down a plan. I talked with national federations about my plans, and by and by a group of 40 federations gathered to support me.”

Also the IOC was informed beforehand about Wu’s action plan for a take-over. The IOC should render moral, but not any other support to other federations suffering from corruption and bad management, Wu says.

“That would be against the Olympic Charter by which the federations must take care of their own affairs.”

At the IOC elections next Friday, Wu is reported as a possible candidate for the Vice-Presidency or for another vacant seat on the Executive Board.