Kremlev elected president of the International Boxing Association

Russia's Umar Kremlev is the new president of AIBA © AIBA

Russia’s Umar Kremlev has been elected president of the International Boxing Association (AIBA) after four rounds of voting at the organization’s virtual Extraordinary Congress today.

Kremlev, secretary general of the Russian Boxing Federation and member of the AIBA Executive Committee, received 86 votes to defeat Boris van der Vorst of the Netherlands and AIBA interim president Mohamed Moustahsane.

Van der Vorst claimed 45 votes in the fourth round, and Moustahsane got 19.

Suleyman Mikayilov of Azerbaijan was the first of five candidates to run to become the first permanent president of AIBA since Gafur Rakhimov withdrew in March 2019 following allegations that he was involved in heroin trafficking, which he denies. , to be eliminated from the contest.

Mikayilov was followed by the head of the Asian Boxing Confederation, Anas Al Otaiba, who was unable to advance beyond the third round.

Both were expected to be the Kremlev’s main rivals.

Kremlev, mentioned in the International Olympic Committee (IOC) report used as the basis for suspending AIBA as the Olympic governing body for the sport and stripping it of any participation in the Tokyo 2020 boxing tournament in June last year, defeated his rivals in the round. four when he exceeded the absolute majority of 75 votes needed for victory.

The Russian, also first vice president of the European Boxing Confederation, replaces Moustahsane, who had been in interim charge since Rakhimov resigned.

His main task will be to ensure that AIBA’s status with the IOC is restored in time for the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

Umar Kremlev promised to eliminate AIBA's $ 50 million debt during his first press conference as the new president of the world governing body after securing victory in virtual presidential elections © Russian Boxing
Umar Kremlev promised to eliminate AIBA’s $ 50 million debt during his first press conference as the new president of the world governing body after securing victory in virtual presidential elections © Russian Boxing

“Let me make it clear: the road to rebuilding AIBA is not easy,” Kremlev said.

“It is not going to happen overnight.

“We have to come together and work with one mission, and one mission: to rebuild the credibility and trust that AIBA once had in the minds of athletes around the world and that includes, of course, restoring AIBA’s Olympic status.” .

Kremlev had pledged to eliminate AIBA’s debt, believed to be around $ 20 million (£ 15 million / € 16.5 million), if elected president.

He made a similar promise after the IOC suspended recognition of AIBA, but the IOC Investigation Committee raised an alleged lack of due diligence regarding the financial offer as concern in its report last year.

The Committee, headed by United World Wrestling Chairman and Executive Board member Nenad Lalovic, warned in its report that “research in the public domain shows that Mr. Umar Kremlev changed his name from Umar Lutfuloev; it seems unlikely may its various business enterprises secure sufficient personal savings to cover AIBA’s debt. “

The report added: “Given the aforementioned information about Mr. Umar Kremlev and the fact that his letter did not provide any explanation as to the origin of the funds to be used, the IOC Investigation Committee questions the seriousness of the due diligence carried out. carried out by AIBA before the announcement to the media.

“Background checks on the origin of third-party funds are part of the basic standards of good governance that are expected to be implemented by the Olympic IFs (International Federations).”

Kremlev promised that eliminating the debt “will be the first priority” for AIBA under his leadership, which he said can be achieved “in the first six months.”

“My administration will aim to raise $ 50 million (£ 38 million / € 41 million) within two years, all of which will be used to rebuild AIBA,” he added.

Umar Kremlev was one of five candidates for the AIBA presidency and each made presentations before the online voting took place © ITG
Umar Kremlev was one of five candidates running for the AIBA presidency and each made presentations before the online vote took place © ITG

The election follows a campaign dogged by indictments, indictments and counterclaims against several of the candidates behind the scenes.

The IOC has also admitted that it is concerned about the anonymous candidates who ran for AIBA president.

Kremlev claimed that “there are no concerns with my candidacy”, despite the fact that IOC President Thomas Bach directly suggested that the organization had a problem with the Russian post for the top post.

He stated that he would resolve all outstanding issues with the IOC “in the next three to four months.”

Kremlev revealed that he was already in negotiations with companies regarding possible sponsorship, but refused to reveal their identities and refused to reveal the source of their funding.

The 38-year-old is set to complete the remainder of Rakhimov’s term, which expires in 2022, before he has to get back on his feet.

He becomes the third Russian president of a sport on the summer Olympic program, joining oligarchs Alisher Usmanov in the International Fencing Federation and Vladimir Lisin in the International Federation of Sport Shooting.

According to Forbes, Lisin is the second richest man in Russia with a value of $ 18.1 billion (£ 13.6 billion / € 14.9 billion) and Usmanov the seventh with a fortune estimated at $ 13.4 billion (£ 10.1 billion / € 11.1 billion)