Olympic Boxing Task Force (BTF): What You Need to Know

Ensuring the successful delivery of the qualification events and the Tokyo 2020 boxing tournament is the responsibility of the Olympic Boxing Task Force.

Here is what you need to know about the Olympic Boxing Task Force (BTF), its creation, its members and its mission.

The Background

The BTF was created by the IOC Executive Board (EB) in June 2019. This followed a decision by the IOC Session to keep boxing on the sports programme for Tokyo 2020, but to suspend IOC recognition of the International Boxing Association (AIBA) due to concerns over finance, governance, ethics and refereeing and judging.

The IOC EB gave the Boxing Task Force the mandate to organise and deliver the five qualification events for boxing and the Olympic boxing competition in Tokyo, and to develop a Tokyo 2020 qualification system for boxing.

The Priority

The overarching goal of the BTF is to minimise any disruption for the athletes and to create a clear, just and fair pathway for boxers to realise their dream of competing in the Olympic Games in Tokyo. The Tokyo 2020 tournament will feature 286 boxers (186 men, 100 women) competing in 13 weight classes (eight for men, five for women).

The Members

The BTF is composed of five members.

The chair is Morinari Watanabe, an IOC Member from Japan and President of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG).

The other members are:

  • Willi Kaltschmitt Luján, an IOC Executive Board member from Guatemala.
  • William Frederick Blick, an IOC member from Uganda.
  • Marius Vizer, President of the International Judo Federation, from Austria.
  • Aya Medany, an IOC Athletes’ Commission member from Egypt.

The Support Team

The BTF is supported by a dedicated management team of boxing experts to help run the qualifying events and the Olympic tournament.

The Qualification Events

The BTF is in charge of delivering four Continental Qualifying Events and one final World Qualifying Event, to be held between February and May 2020. They are as follows:

  • Asian/Oceania Qualifying Event – Wuhan, CHN
  • African Qualifying Event – Dakar, SEN
  • European Qualifying Event – London, GBR
  • Americas Qualifying Event – Buenos Aires, ARG
  • Final World Qualifying Event – Paris, FRA

The BTF will work closely with each of the local organising committees and will be the main point of contact with athletes, National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and National Federations (NFs).

The Event Rules and Regulations

The BTF is currently developing the rules and regulations for the qualification events and the Olympic Games, and these will be announced in the second half of September. The BTF is aiming to minimise changes to the rules while also looking to improve transparency and credibility in the scoring system and judging.

The Refereeing and Judging (R&J)

Ensuring the highest standards of credibility and integrity in the refereeing and judging selection process is a key priority of the BTF. The group has appointed Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) to carry out an independent assessment review of the R&J selection process for the qualification events and the Olympic tournament. This follows PwC’s successful oversight of the R&J selection at the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018.

The Athlete Ambassadors

The BTF has the objective of engaging with the boxing community, promoting the athlete voice and encouraging boxers to express themselves before, during and beyond Tokyo 2020. In line with this strategy, the BTF is launching nominations for its Athlete Ambassadors programme. The group will consist of 10 boxers – one man and one woman from each of the five regions – who will provide input and feedback to the BTF and advocate the athlete voice in the sport.

The Bottom Line

The BTF is doing everything possible to: ensure that the pathway to the Olympic Games is clean and fair by organising world-class qualification events; instil trust and confidence in Olympic boxing; uphold the Olympic values; promote the athlete voice; and make sure that the best athletes compete at Tokyo 2020 and the right boxers win the medals they deserve.

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