Sunday, 25, February, 2024

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has urged interim head Gafur Rakhimov not to stand for President of the International Boxing Association (AIBA) as his candidacy would go against the "best interests" of the sport as it battles to retain its place on the Olympic programme.

IOC chief ethics and compliance officer Päquerette Girard Zappelli issued an ultimatum in a letter to Rakhimov which says him running for the top job could put boxing's place at Tokyo 2020 at further risk amid the Uzbek's links to alleged organised crime.

In the letter, dated August 31 and obtained by , Zappelli says it will be "crucial in the best interests of boxing within the Olympic Movement that only candidates benefiting from a full clean situation can stand for the President's position".

Zappelli makes reference to the claims against Rakhimov, who remains on the United States Department of the Treasury's sanctions list as "one of Uzbekistan's leading criminals".

He is on the list under six different identities including the Gafur Rakhimov name in connection with his alleged links to a notorious international criminal network known as "thieves-in-law".

The Treasury has suspended Rakhimov's right and ability to make and receive any financial transactions in US dollars, while it has also granted Rakhimov's law firm, Ferrari Legal, a licence authorising it to receive the payment of legal fees and expenses reimbursement.

The letter marks a rare example of the IOC attempting to directly influence a Presidential election at an International Federation (IF).

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