Wednesday, 21, August, 2019

Gafur Rakhimov stepped down as head of the AIBA, world amateur boxing's governing body, on Friday amid a spat with the International Olympic Committee, who welcomed the move as they mull the status of boxing at the 2020 Tokyo Games.

"I have informed the AIBA Executive Committee of my intent to step aside as AIBA President," Rakhimov said in a statement.

The status of boxing is on the agenda for IOC executive board meeting in Lausanne next week, from March 26-28.

The Uzbek businessman has been engulfed in controversy since he was elected in November because the US Treasury Department has linked him to "transnational criminal organisations", a charge he vehemently denies.

Rakhimov said that under his leadership "the work done this last year has revitalised and energised AIBA and boxing".

"However, despite these efforts, there have been many discussions these last few months about the future of Olympic boxing. A lot of that was mainly focused on politics and not sport.

"While I had truly hoped and believed that sport and politics could be separated, and that the good work and positive changes being infused into AIBA would be recognised, the politically-based discussions have put into question the progress being made throughout the AIBA organisation."

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