IBA promises $50,000 in prize money to gold medalist at Paris Games

The boxing authority, deemed rogue by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), announced on Wednesday that it will award $50,000 in prize money to each gold medalist at the Paris Games.

This financial pledge is especially provocative for the IOC, which has cut ties with the International Boxing Association (IBA) and disapproves of governing bodies giving prize money to Olympic medalists.

The IBA revealed it possesses a $3.1 million prize fund for each male and female boxer who advances to the quarterfinals across 13 weight categories, including their coaches and national teams.

Both the coach and national team of each Olympic boxing gold medalist will receive $25,000 each, with the payment scale descending to $10,000 in total for each quarterfinalist.

While the source of this funding remains unclear, the IBA, under the leadership of its Russian president Umar Kremlev, has been backed by Russia’s state energy company Gazprom. The IBA had previously pledged $200,000 for gold medalists at its 2023 world championships and promised further increases in the future.

“As IBA president, I will always fight for our athletes’ well-being, and this step is consistent with the commitments we have already made,” Kremlev stated

World Athletics pledged in April to award $50,000 to each of the 48 gold medalists in track and field at the Paris Olympics. However, the Olympic body did not endorse this plan. They have also committed to providing prize money for silver and bronze medalists at the Los Angeles Olympics in 2028.

The IOC has withdrawn recognition of the IBA and will exclude them from organising boxing matches in Paris for the second consecutive Summer Games.

Concerns cited by the IOC include the boxing body’s governance issues, dependence on funding from Gazprom, and the integrity of judges and bouts during the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. These games were overseen by C. K. Wu, a long-standing IOC member.

IBA announced that medalists in Paris will receive their rewards at “a special awards ceremony” after successfully passing anti-doping checks.

The IOC was approached for comment.

Traditionally, prize money for Olympic medalists has come from state governments and national teams rather than directly from IOC funds. The IOC prefers that governing bodies use their resources to develop their sport at grassroots levels.

World Athletics revealed that its $2.4 million prize pool for champions in Paris would be sourced from its allocation of the IOC’s revenues.

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