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BOXING, WEIGHTLIFTING STAY IN 2028 OLYMPICS PUSHED

The Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA) Party-list today expressed concern over the possible exclusion of boxing and weightlifting in the 2028 Olympic Games.

The two sports were recently excluded from the provisional list of games to feature at the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles, as announced by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Boxing is the Philippines’ most successful Olympic sport with a total haul of eight medals since the country joined the Games.

“This news is a huge blow to our country and especially to our athletes, given the recent success of our Olympians in boxing and weightlifting,” PBA Party-list spokesperson Atty. Migs Nograles said.

Nograles urged the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), along with the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP) and Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas (SWP), to monitor the compliance of the AIBA and the IWF to the reforms being called for by the IOC.

“We have a lot at stake here. We must be prepared to lobby for the continued inclusion of boxing and weightlifting should the two governing bodies fail to shape up,” she said.

Boxing is the Philippines’ most successful Olympic sport with a total haul of eight medals since the country joined the Games. Three of the eight medals were won in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, where the country also won its first Olympic gold with Hidilyn Diaz in weightlifting.

IOC president Thomas Bach, who made the announcement, said the decision to exclude both sports is not final, and they may still be included if their respective governing bodies address the concerns raised by the IOC, including doping allegations in weightlifting and the judging scandal in boxing at the 2016 Rio Games.

Bach said the International Boxing Association (AIBA) “must demonstrate that it has addressed concerns around its governance, its financial transparency and the integrity of its refereeing and judging.” He also said that the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) leadership must change and those who take over must demonstrate an “effective change of culture.”

Nograles urged the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), along with the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP) and Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas (SWP), to monitor the compliance of the AIBA and the IWF to the reforms being called for by the IOC.

Meanwhile, Nograles said the recent announcements of the IOC should not distract boxing and weightlifting athletes from their training.

“We still have the 2024 Games ahead. Let’s focus on that first. Let us build on the momentum we gained in Tokyo and improve our medal tally in Los Angeles,” the Davaoeña lawyer said.

“Whatever happens, we take pride in knowing that our athletes are clean and don’t resort to doping just to get ahead of their competition,” she added.

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