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Troubled boxing body AIBA looks to change its name

January 21, 2020 GMT

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Amateur boxing’s troubled governing body AIBA is considering a name change after it was cut out of organizing the Olympic tournaments this year.

AIBA’s interim president Mohamed Moustahsane said in a statement Tuesday that rebranding is part of a package of reforms he wants national federations to vote on in March.

“There is a wish to reform, and a change of the name is also a part of reform. It will be discussed at the next (executive committee) meeting to be presented at the Congress in March,” Moustahsane said in the statement provided by AIBA to The Associated Press via text message.

The International Olympic Committee excluded AIBA from the upcoming Tokyo Games because of its severe debts, infighting and concerns over the integrity of referees and judges.

Being cut off from Olympic revenue has only worsened AIBA’s precarious financial position. The IOC was particularly concerned about Moustahsane’s predecessor as AIBA president, Uzbekistani businessman Gafur Rakhimov, who resigned in July and had been accused by the U.S. Treasury of involvement in drug trafficking. He denies any wrongdoing.

Moustahsane says he wants to reach an agreement with AIBA’s main creditors, but didn’t give details.

“It’s a heavy heritage but I am confident that the creditors are fully aware of AIBA’s financial situation,” he said. “Chinese and Azerbaijani companies are our main creditors, the good thing is these countries are deeply involved in the sport, especially in boxing. I am sure that we will reach an agreement for the best interest of the sport.”

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