New Delhi: The threat of Olympic exclusion is a "challenging moment" for the embattled International Boxing Association (AIBA), concedes its interim President Gafur Rahimov but insists that his perseverant organisation remains on course to regain the IOC's trust.
In an email interview to PTI, Rahimov addressed the many issues facing amateur boxing's governing body, which has been in a state of turmoil for a while.
"AIBA's leadership has been working very hard on ensuring that everything in our power is done to restore the confidence of all of our stakeholders especially the International Olympic Committee (IOC)," Rahimov said in response to a query on whether boxing could indeed be taken off the 2020 Tokyo Games roster.
"While this is a challenging moment, both myself and the AIBA's leadership are committed to the continuous progress of our sport and an example of this is the adoption of our New Foundation Plan," he added.
AIBA's funding has been stopped by the International Olympic Committee, which spoke of "significant concern" over key areas including its governance and ethical and financial management.
"We have welcomed this process as an opportunity to build a stronger organisation and believe that great progress was made over the recent months in all aspects of the organisation. We are confident that we will achieve all our outlined goals," Rahimov said.
The IOC has warned that should the AIBA fail in addressing all its concerns, boxing would be axed from the biggest stage of all. The popular combat sport has been contested at every Olympics since its introduction at the 1904 Games, barring Stockholm 1912.