Amateur boxing chief steps down amid allegations of financial mismanagement and abuse of power

The civil war at world boxing's governing body AIBA is over after Wu Ching-kuo agreed to step down as president, bringing an end to a row that had spilled over into the civil courts.

The 71-year-old Wu has ruled AIBA for 11 years, including during the 2016 Rio Olympics when a number of controversial decisions were made, including Michael Conlan’s quarter-final loss to Russian Vladimir Nikitin.

Last month, he was suspended by the organisation's disciplinary commission for alleged financial mismanagement and abuse of power.

Having repeatedly denied these claims, Wu has now realised his position is untenable.

AIBA President Wu Ching-Kuo with referees and judges following the final boxing session at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

In a statement, the International Olympic Committee member said he was standing down "in the best interests of both AIBA and boxing", and added he was committed to ensuring "a smooth handover to the new leadership".

At the moment, that means Italy's Franco Falcinelli, who has served as interim president for the last month, having been the organisation's senior vice-president.

AIBA will hold an extraordinary congress with all its national member federations on January 27 in Dubai to vote on proposed governance changes.

Thanking Wu for his "contribution to boxing", Falcinelli said: "Our focus is now on the future and we will concentrate on our core mission of promoting and developing our sport in collaboration with the 202 national member federations."

He added he would ask the executive committee to back his recommendation that Wu becomes AIBA's honorary president and the settlement reached between AIBA and Wu is based on there being "no indication of any unethical behaviour by either party".

While this does restore peace to the sport, AIBA still faces a number of financial and legal issues.

When Wu was suspended, the disciplinary commission said AIBA was on the "verge of bankruptcy" and its auditors have refused to sign off on the 2016 accounts.

But on top of the cash crisis, the federation has also been on the ropes after a series of bad decisions ruined last year's boxing competition at the Rio Olympics.


 

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