The IBA has suspended four National Federations for ties to World Boxing ©IBA

The International Boxing Association (IBA) has suspended the National Federations of New Zealand, Germany, Sweden and The Netherlands for their ties to the breakaway governing body World Boxing.

The Czech Boxing Association has also been suspended after controversy relating to American involvement at the Ústi Nad Labem Grand Prix, and the Liberia Boxing Association and the Federation of Boxing of Equatorial Guinea for failing to provide an annual report.

Dutch Boxing Federation President Boris van der Vorst - expected to stand down to focus on World Boxing - challenged Umar Kremlev for the IBA Presidency last year, but was wrongly deemed ineligible to stand by the Boxing Independent Integrity Unit (BIIU) in Istanbul before delegates voted against staging a re-run in Yerevan.

He criticised the IBA's handling of its suspension, and said the Dutch Boxing Federation would turn its attention to Paris 2024 Olympics qualification.

"After a series of announcements made by the IBA leadership, including one to insidethegames, stating that the Boxing Independent Integrity Unit would handle the investigation of their allegations and assumptions regarding the Dutch Boxing Federation, we have now received a "decision of the IBA Board" without any fair hearing, as mandated by the IBA Constitution," van der Vorst told insidethegames.

"This incident serves as yet another clear demonstration of how the IBA proclaims its implementation of reforms, such as the establishment of the Integrity Unit, only to subsequently make authoritative and retaliatory decisions that contradict its own regulations.

"With the IBA no longer involved in Olympic boxing competitions, Dutch boxers will proceed with their planned preparations for the upcoming European Games, which also serve as Paris 2024 Olympic Continental Qualifier. 

"We will not allow this IBA decision to distract us from the most important goals and we will evaluate possible response to it in due time, including addressing the matter at the upcoming General Assembly of the Dutch Boxing Federation."

The Netherlands is among the National Federations suspended by the IBA for ties to World Boxing ©Getty Images
The Netherlands is among the National Federations suspended by the IBA for ties to World Boxing ©Getty Images

World Boxing was launched last month following concerns about the sport's place at the Olympic Games given the deterioration in the relationship between the IBA under its Russian President Kremlev and the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

An Interim Executive Board featured representatives from Germany, Britain, The Netherlands, the Philippines, Sweden and the United States, but only USA Boxing has officially quit the IBA.

The IBA has sought to dismiss World Boxing as a "rogue" organisation.

It filed a complaint to its BIIU against the New Zealand Boxing Association, German Boxing Association, Swedish Boxing Federation and the Dutch Boxing Federation, in addition to the Irish Amateur Boxing Association.

The IBA today announced it had found four of those - New Zealand, Germany, Sweden and The Netherlands - guilty of "breaching the rules and regulations" and suspended their membership.

It said the four governing bodies had not distanced themselves from World Boxing and failed to "categorically" refuse their participation in the rival organisation.

To be reinstated, they are each required to show to the IBA they have no "affiliated officials participating in another international boxing federation", provide a written statement to the IBA confirming they have ceased participation in another organisation and condemn "any attempts to establish an alternative international boxing federation" on their respective websites.

World Boxing insisted it is "not in a fight with the IBA" during its launch, but criticised its handling of the National Federation suspensions.

"It is disappointing but not surprising to see that IBA has once again acted in a very heavy-handed manner and shown little regard for its own processes and the legitimate concerns and interests of National Federations," a spokesperson said.

"World Boxing will continue to have a dialogue with the boxing leaders at the National Federations that have received letters of suspension and looks forward to working closely with them and others in ensuring boxing remains at the heart of the Olympic Movement."

New Zealand was part of the Common Cause Alliance which backed van der Vorst's campaign last year, but unlike its fellow suspended members is not represented on the World Boxing Interim Executive Board.

Dutch Boxing Federation President Boris van der Vorst said the suspension showed
Dutch Boxing Federation President Boris van der Vorst said the suspension showed "authoritative and retaliatory" decision-making by the IBA ©IBA

Although a complaint was filed to the BIIU regarding the IABA, the Irish body has avoided suspension.

Ireland was absent from the launch of World Boxing, but leading figures have expressed support and van der Vorst recently travelled to the country with GB Boxing chief executive Matthew Holt to meet its Sports Minister Thomas Byrne and officials from the National Olympic Committee and IABA.

In today's announcement, the IABA, together with the Iceland Boxing Federation, were named as failing to provide annual reports to the IBA, but rectified this after being notified proceedings had been launched against them.

Liberia and Equatorial Guinea also failed to meet this requirement, and have been suspended until they provide an annual report to the IBA head office and demonstrate "normal activity".

The ČBA was the other national governing body suspended for allowing participants from USA Boxing at the Grand Prix in Ústi Nad Labem after it had left the IBA.

The IBA said the ČBA "did not provide the IBA with any sign of efforts to resolve the damages".

Conditions for reinstatement are an apology to the IBA, guarantees only eligible boxers from member National Federations will participate at its events and a commitment to no further "serious violations" of Constitution and Regulations within the next six months.

The IBA urged National Federations to withdraw from the Grand Prix, but only three of the 18 in Brazil, France and Poland did so.

Athletes of the seven suspended National Federations can participate in IBA events if they are registered through the IBA sport department.

The IBA has also vowed to ensure boxers and coaches from the seven countries can compete "under their national flag and anthem but without any symbols of the suspended National Federation".

The IOC has suspended the IBA, formerly AIBA, since 2019 because of ongoing governance concerns.

Kremlev was elected as President in December 2020, but has been unable to prevent the IBA losing its right to organise boxing at the Olympics for the second consecutive Games at Paris 2024.

Even more ominously, boxing remains off the initial programme for Los Angeles 2028.

Earlier this month, the IBA delivered a 400-page report to the IOC aiming to address its governance concerns, and Kremlev - who has previously hinted at a future for boxing outside of the Olympics - has acknowledged a "collaborative approach" is needed to secure the sport's place at the Games.