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IBA defends world championships amidst political boycott

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On Thursday, the International Boxing Association (IBA), led by Russia, condemned a political boycott by the United States and other nations on its world championships and insisted that boxers from the countries involved were enthusiastic about participating.

Last week, the United States announced the boycott, with Canada, Sweden, Britain, Czech Republic, and Ireland following suit due to the inclusion of Russian and Belarusian athletes and alleged governance issues within the world body.

IBA’s president, Umar Kremlev, is Russian, and the body’s largest sponsor is the Russian state-controlled energy company Gazprom. IBA’s secretary-general and CEO, George Yerolimpos, a Greek national, said in a letter to national federations that the boycott choices were “made in a vacuum.”

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