IBA says IOC misused information about its officials

NEW DELHI, March 27 (Reuters) - The International Boxing Association (IBA) on Monday upped the ante in its battle for control of Olympic boxing by accusing the International Olympic Committee (IOC) of misuse of information about its officials.

In an open letter to IOC chief Thomas Bach and executive board members before their meeting in Lausanne on Tuesday, the IBA said it had "deep concerns" regarding basic IOC governance, impartiality and transparency principles during the monitoring process ahead of next year's Paris Olympics.

The IOC suspended the IBA in 2019 over governance, finance, refereeing and ethical issues and did not involve it in running the boxing events at the Tokyo Olympics. The IOC also plans to stage its own boxing qualifier for Paris.

The IBA said it was concerned about confidential data relating to its competition officials, adding that the Paris 2024 Boxing Unit had contacted it about acting as volunteer officials at qualification competitions and the Games.

"This was done without prior approval or communication to IBA with whom the competition officials are certified and showed a lack of basic communication that demonstrates once again the lack of transparency and cooperation with the IBA from the respective IOC staff," the IBA said in its letter.

It added the IOC's actions were in breach of a data transfer agreement signed in 2019.

"The IOC is aware of the IBA's most recent allegations," an IOC spokesperson told Reuters.

"The IOC will continue to monitor the practice and activities of the IBA in conformity with the roadmap previously communicated to them and in view of taking a decision on their recognition status in 2023."

The IBA added it would "reserve all rights to seek redress before the competent court against IOC to request damages for breach of the agreement, illegitimate use of our intellectual property and breach of the General Data Protection Regulation amongst other breaches in which the IOC has committed."

Relations between the IOC and the IBA further soured following Russia's invasion of Ukraine last year.

Amateur boxing's governing body defied IOC guidance and lifted a ban on Russian and Belarusian boxers competing under their flags last October.

Boxing is not on the initial programme for the 2028 Los Angeles Games.

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond and Christian Radnedge

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