AIBA says it's debt-free now, launches inquiry into 'past judging corruption'

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Lausanne, May 26 (PTI) The International Boxing Association on Wednesday said it has cleared all its debts, including the USD 10 million owed to an Azerbaijan company, and also announced an independent investigation into allegations of 'past judging corruption.' AIBA said that the investigation will 'notably be around the Rio 2016 Olympic Games boxing tournament', where referees were accused of not judging fairly.

'In addition, new systems and processes are being introduced to combat corrupt judging, match-fixing and other forms of manipulation,' the world body stated.

By announcing itself debt-free, AIBA said it has found the financial stability which is required to regain the International Olympic Committee's affiliation.

'The AIBA has paid in full its outstanding USD 10 million USD debt to Azerbaijani company Benkons LLC, which was the main loan for the organization and which had been at the heart of a period of financial instability, as well as other existed debts from the past,' the world body stated.

'The biggest loan had been part of an unsuccessful venture, the World Series of Boxing.' The settlement of the loan was an election promise by AIBA President Umar Kremlev.

'Financial issues have hung over the leadership of the sport I love for too many years. They have even threatened our Olympic future,' said Kremlev.

'Closing the debt is a core achievement for our financial health and future Olympic prospects. I am very happy that we have been able to resolve this and ensure stability for AIBA,' he added.

It was during the tenure of former President Ching-Kuo Wu that AIBA became guarantor to the loan of USD 10 million provided by Benkons.

'The resulting debt was identified by the IOC as a key reason for suspending payments to AIBA in 2017 and later the complete suspension of AIBA.

'AIBA hopes its settlement and the resulting stability will now prove to be a significant step towards resolving the IOC's concerns.' The AIBA Financial Support Programme has also been launched to provide development and equipment resources for national federations and confederations.

AIBA will distribute USD 2 million for national federations annually. Additionally, boxing equipment worth USD 2.5 million will be provided to countries. Each of the five AIBA Confederations will receive USD 500,000 per year.

'The funds to make these developments possible have a clear source and do not themselves involve any new indebtedness. As part of its work to ensure financial stability, AIBA recently secured significant sponsorship from Gazprom,' AIBA said. PTI PM PM PDS PDS

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