ABAE hit with potential 5,000 Swiss Franc fine from AIBA over alleged violations

The chasm between the International ruling body for Amateur Boxing and the English Association gets even wider with the latest blow in this bout. The second part of the alleged violation by the ABAE of not keeping at "arms length" from Sport England is bordering on ludicrous, insofar that the ABAE funding comes from the same body. Does the governing body expect the English to stay at arms length from the source of their funding?

On July 18, 2013, the International Boxing Association (AIBA) Executive Committee provisionally suspended the Amateur Boxing Association of England (ABAE) for serious breaches of the AIBA Statutes/Bylaws and the AIBA Technical & Competition Rules. The Executive Committee also referred the matter to the AIBA Disciplinary Commission for its further investigation and decisions regarding the future of the ABAE within AIBA.

The three Members of the AIBA Disciplinary Commission, including the Chairman, have concluded their review and issued a decision on September 4, 2013.

Findings
The Disciplinary Commission found that the ABAE "committed and continues to commit significant violations" of the AIBA Statutes and Bylaws. In particular, it was held that the ABAE decision to ban English World Series of Boxing (WSB) boxers from competing in the ABAE National Championships was "directly contrary to AIBA's competitions rules". The Disciplinary Commission found that that there was "not a shred of evidence" to back the claim that allowing WSB boxers to participate would be medically unsafe. On the contrary, the Disciplinary Commission held that the WSB competition was "thoroughly researched from medical and safety standpoints".

On the issue of the ABAE's failure to bring its Articles of Association into line with AIBA Statutes and Bylaws, the Disciplinary Commission found that the explanations offered by the ABAE for this failure were "poor excuses for evading their responsibilities and obligations". The ABAE was also warned "to keep all governance and operations at arms-length away from Sport England (...) in order to maintain the necessary autonomy".

Sanctions
The Disciplinary Commission imposed a fine of CHF 5'000 on the ABAE, however, "this fine will be waived if the ABAE makes a public statement confirming that it (i) failed to comply with the AIBA Statutes, Bylaws and Rules and (ii) it will adopt the required amendments to its Articles of Association and bylaws".

The Disciplinary Commission also ordered the ABAE to establish a Compliance Committee to develop recommendations for governance changes to the ABAE Articles and Bylaws in order to bring them into compliance with the AIBA Statutes, Bylaws, Rules and Codes. The required changes should be adopted by October 8, 2013.
 

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