International boxing body strips S. Korea of membership

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International boxing body strips S. Korea of membership

The international boxing governing body said Monday that it has provisionally stripped Korea of its membership, accusing the country’s boxing chief of tarnishing its reputation.

Unless reinstated within this month, Korean boxers will not be able to compete in the upcoming Asian Games in November because the roster for the Asian Games has to be submitted to its organizing committee by the end of September.

Korea would also be barred from the Olympics, world championships and other international tournaments unless it regains membership.

“The International Boxing Association (AIBA) has provisionally withdrawn the AIBA membership of the Korea Amateur Boxing Federation (KABF),” the AIBA said in a letter sent to the country’s top sports governing body, the Korean Olympic Committee (KOC), citing Article 17 of its statute.

Article 17 reads, “An excluded member shall automatically lose its membership of AIBA.”

The exclusion will be finalized at the general congress in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on Nov. 1-2, according to an official from the KOC.

The AIBA said in the letter that the KABF has not complied with its order to name a new president, replacing former President Yoo Jae-joon, who it said has tarnished the image of the AIBA and its member countries.

Last month, the AIBA’s executive director had threatened to strip the KABF of its membership if it did not elect a chairman by Sept. 10.

The AIBA said it has found evidence that Yoo has tried to spoil the 2011 world championships and the general congress, which were originally planned to be held in Busan in October but later moved to other cities.

Tensions between the KABF and AIBA date to November 2006 when, during the election for a chairman, Yoo supported Anwar Chowdhry, an opponent to the eventual winner, Wu Ching-kuo.

Soon after Yoo was elected as the KABF chief in January of last year, the AIBA suspended him for 18 months for sending an unauthorized team physician to an international event.

Even without Yoo, who was dismissed by the KOC last December, the AIBA continued to pressure the Korean federation.

In July, the international body relocated the 2010 AIBA Congress from Busan to Almaty, Kazakhstan, and the 2011 world championships from Busan to Baku, Azerbaijan.

The KOC protested, saying that it takes time to organize a general meeting and elect a new chairman.

“I heard that a board meeting of the KABF will be convened tomorrow, but it still has a long way to go,” said Park In-kyu, chief director of the international relations department at the KOC.

“The board meeting will just fix the date for the general meeting. It will take time.”

Another KOC official said that the committee would exercise its authority to name the new KABF chief.

“If the KABF fails to set the schedule for the election today, the KOC board can discuss the issue,” said the official.

“I think the AIBA decision is just a provisional measure and a warning. I hope that the AIBA will lift the measure when the election schedule is arranged.”


Yonhap

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