IABA Statement

The Board of Directors of the Irish Athletic Boxing Association (IABA) accept that selection of athletes for international competition should rest with the High-Performance Management Team.

However, the current Rule Book adopted in 2006, provides that it is the Central Council who currently have the authority either, to select or put in place alternative arrangements for selection. The Central Council do take into account the recommendations of the High-Performance Management Team.

In respect of selection for next month’s European Championships the High-Performance Management Team had recommended a Box off at super heavyweight and if a box off was not acceptable the only other option put forward would be the current National Champion, Martin Keenan be chosen in that division. The Central Council chose to select Dean Gardiner over Martin Keenan.

After careful consideration, last weekend, the Central Council revised that decision and provided as allowed for in the Rule Book to hold a box off between Dean Gardiner and Martin Keenan for the right to represent Ireland in that division at the European Championship. The box off will be held in the National Stadium at 8pm tonight, Wednesday 31st May, with the winner earning the place on the team.

The Post Rio Review completed in the aftermath of last year’s Olympic Games did recommend that the power of selection should rest with the IABA’s High-Performance Management Team. The Board of Directors of the IABA have committed to implementing the recommendations of that report in full and all have been included in the strategic plan published in December 2016. Amendments to the Rule Book will be required for most of these recommendations to take effect.

The IABA has been asked by the Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport at a meeting on Wednesday 31st May to arrange that the relevant change to the selection procedure be put in place by the end of June. The Board of Directors have agreed to use their best endeavours to facilitate this and will immediately write to the Central Council asking them to put in place an alternative arrangement for selection as allowed for in the current Rule Book that would see selection rest with the High-Performance Management Team.

The IABA can further confirm that a draft Rule Book which provides for all the Rio Review recommendations was prepared in March by independent consultant, Sarah O’Shea of SOS Sport Consult, following consultation with both the Board and the Central Council Rule Book Committee.

The Board of Directors have since then sought several meetings with the Central Council to discuss the proposed new Rule Book but the CentralCouncil have not yet been available to meet. The Board of Directors are committed to finalising consultation with the Rule Book Committee of the Central Council and the wider IABA membership as quickly as possible in respect of the draft before taking the legal steps required to effect the proposed changes.

The Board of Directors will confirm a timetable for the consultation and proposed adoption of the new Rule Book in accordance with best legal practice.