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The Sport Information Resource Centre

Boxing Canada will join up to 15 nations, including the recently announced United States, in deciding not to compete at the 2023 Women’s Boxing World Championships in India, March 24-26, due to participation of Russian and Belarussian athletes.

In recent months Boxing Canada’s Board of Directors, along with the High-Performance Advisory Group (HPAG), have been involved in several discussions regarding our involvement in international competitions that allow participation of Russian and Belarussian athletes. Our decision to participate in such events has been based on information and discussions with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC), as well as several other Boxing federations. On December 9, 2022, the IOC held a summit to discuss the participation of Russian and Belarussian athletes in international competitions.

During this summit the IOC concluded that no flag, anthem, colours or any other identifications of these countries can be displayed at any international sports competition/event or meeting.

Furthermore, the IOC and the Olympic movement have taken the proactive measure of not inviting athletes from Russia or Belarus to participate in international competitions under their own flag or banner.

That said, we are aware that the upcoming Women’s World Championships will include both Russian and Belarussian athletes in the competition.

As a result, we have learned there are a growing number of countries who have decided not to attend the World Championships to uphold the values of the Olympic Movement, and several other countries who will participate in the competition but will require their athletes to withdraw from competition if they draw a boxer from Russia or Belarus.

Additionally, there are ongoing discussions amongst several Boxing Federations and their governments related to the legality of the prize money at stake for gold, silver, and bronze medalists.

Given these circumstances, the Board of Directors of Boxing Canada have decided to uphold the decision of the IOC and the values of the Olympic Movement and not participate in the 2023 World Championships.

We understand the implications this decision will have on our national team athletes, and we are working diligently alongside our sport partners to find a suitable replacement tournament to continue developing our high-performance athletes in preparation for the Pan American Games Qualifiers as well as the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris.

Boxing is one of the oldest and most traditional sports in the Olympic program.

Today, it has grown to one of the most inclusive sports that provides equal medal opportunities for female and male competitors.

Given the continued corruption within the International Boxing Association, we have significant concerns surrounding the risk our sport faces and its future within the Olympic lineup.

Given this, we stand in solidarity with other concerned nations, and whole heartedly add our voice for change.

…Ryan O’Shea, President, Boxing Canada