The Boxing World Cup demonstrates the balance of power on the return of the Russian and Belarusian athletes

This case is above all symbolic, but it says a lot about the fight that Russia and its ally Belarus have begun to bring their athletes back into global sport, a year after the decision to remove them in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine, February 24, 2022 On Wednesday March 15, in New Delhi, the Women’s World Boxing Championships opened Amateur, which was organized until March 26 under the auspices of the International Boxing Association (IBA). Russians and Belarusians participate. What is more than the anthem and the flag, in violation of decisions taken by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) last year.

Admittedly, the case of IBA and this competition in India is special. The federation, headed by Russian Umar Karimlev, who is close to Vladimir Putin and who benefits from financial support from Russian energy giant Gazprom, was suspended by the International Olympic Committee in 2019 over financial and governance problems. Therefore, the results of these worlds will not be counted in the race for the Olympic Games in Paris 2024, Qualifications regulated by the International Olympic Committee, as for the Tokyo Games. And the Olympic horizon for boxing has shrunk: the International Olympic Committee excluded it from the Los Angeles 2028 program and threatened to withdraw it from the Paris version.

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However, the event embodies the tensions arising from the publication, on January 25, of the International Olympic Committee’s roadmap, which indicates a possible return of Russian and Belarusian athletes, on condition of neutrality, in major international competitions. Thus eleven countries decided to boycott this World Cup in India: USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, Ukraine, Poland, Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, Czech Republic and Norway. On the other hand, France is present: p “The host country for the next Olympic Games, we have an interest in remaining neutral”Agence France-Presse argued Dominique Natto, President of the French Boxing Federation.

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The duel chose to take back

“Russia is moving its sports political response”Deshvir Lucas Aubin, Sports Geopolitics Scientist. “If the geopolitical balance of power seems to be gradually reversing in favor of Russia, then who is very clever can say what the Olympic Games will be made of, Thursday morning argued on the social network Twitter. It is very difficult to imagine Paris 2024 without Ukrainian athletes due to the boycott. The confrontation has just begun. »

For weeks the IOC had been repeating over and over that only the international federations of the disciplines represented in the Summer Games had the right to decide whether this or that athlete would participate in their competitions and thus in the qualifying events.

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