By Neto Baptiste
The Antigua and Barbuda National Olympic Committee (ABNOC) is in full support of the Antigua and Barbuda Boxing Association (ABBA) and its president Len Mussington, following reports they and eight other Caribbean countries have been reported to the International Boxing Association’s (AIBA) ethics committee.
President of the NOC, EP Chet Greene, made the disclosure while speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show, stating that the association must be given an opportunity to defend the charges against it.
“The boxing association and its president, Len Mussington, reported to us what exactly transpired, and se we are supporting and standing by the national association until such time, or otherwise, that their word can be disproven; so in other words, Len says to us that the allegations of improper conduct are ill-founded, it is politically motivated because somebody at the top of the chain saw, in their actions, an opportunity to disenfranchise certain members, so that they could be elevated to higher office,” he said.
News broke last week that Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Maarten, The Bahamas, Virgin Islands, Dominica, Anguilla, Bermuda, Haiti and Suriname were all named in a letter to the AIBA ethics and disciplinary committees as countries that have, allegedly, had their annual AIBA fees paid by the Dominican Republic Boxing Federation ahead of AIBA’s electoral congress slated for December.
The accused countries have however maintained their innocence and are scheduled to plead their cases to AIBA ahead of the December vote.
Greene said the NOC has encouraged the member to challenge the decision.
“I would not say that is anything I am not aware of, because in international sports, you see this kind of conduct on almost a daily basis, and without judging or coming to any hard and fast conclusion, I would say the NOC is standing by our member, and the explanation proffered by our member, and we await any information to the contrary. We have encouraged the member to challenge the decision and to clear the good name of the boxing association of Antigua and Barbuda and by extension, Antigua and Barbuda’s name,” he said.
The alleged payment raised concerns as a possible breach of AIBA election rules after the Dominican Republic Boxing Federation (DRBF), which nominated one of the four candidates vying for President of AIBA, allegedly paid the membership fee of the nine countries so they can vote in the December Congress.
The Antigua and Barbuda NOC head said he has had conversions with other federations that are being accused of the said breach.
“I have spoken to at least two other boxing associations in other countries that are also implicated, and whose accounts of the event mirrors the account given by our own Len Mussington, and so therefore the NOC will stand by the boxing association, encouraging them to take their matter to some sort of investigative resolution,” Greene said.
Website, Insidethegames, reported last week that the Dominican Republic Boxing Federation, which nominated Domingo Solano for president of AIBA – transferred a total of $4,800 (£3,700/€4,000) to the Americas Boxing Confederation (AMBC) to cover the dues of nine National Federations.