USVI boxing head denies bribery claims, accuses AIBA of rushing to judgment

President of the USVI Boxing Federation, Tony Rasario (right), believes the nine implicated associations will be vindicated and allow to vote in the December elections of AIBA.
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By Neto Baptiste

President of the United States Virgin Islands (USVI) Boxing Federation, Tony Rosario, is accusing the International Boxing Association (AIBA) of making idle threats against his and eight other associations that were recently barred from taking part in the body’s electoral congress slated for December.

Speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show, Rosario labelled as “unfair” and “unfortunate”, a decision to revoke the voting privileges of nine associations who opted to pay their annual AIBA subscriptions in bulk via the Dominican Republic Boxing Federation (DRBF) President, Rubén García Bonilla.

“They passed judgment on us before asking us a question or for our side and before you pass judgment on someone, you have to ask a question. How did this transpire? Where are your paperwork or how did it move? To send money to Serbia, most of our countries can’t and right now Puerto Rico who are right next door, sent their money to Serbia in February and they had their paperwork that said that they tried to send the money but Puerto Rico is not voting. They [AIBA] don’t have them on the list because they said they did not pay,” he said. 

AIBA recently announced that has opened ethics investigations into Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Maarten, The Bahamas, Virgin Islands, Dominica, Anguilla, Bermuda, Haiti and Suriname after the transaction raised red flags.

President of the Guyana Boxing Association (GBA) and a Vice President of AIBA, Steve Ninvalle in a previous interview, said the governing body had the right to ensure there was no breach of the international body’s code of ethics.

Rosario sought to debunk claims that the subscriptions were paid by AIBA presidential hopeful Domingo Solano.

“Solano has nothing to do with the federation. He was president of that federation years ago and we didn’t have any conversation with Solano but we had a conversation with the acting president now. Solano is vying for a position [in AIBA] but we never had any conversations with him. Let’s pick sense out of nonsense, why would we wait until the eleventh hour if somebody was paying our subscription, w would have paid it a month ago,” he said.

As for the payments, totaling close to EC $5,000, Rosario said the funds were paid by him and that the associations were well aware that funds are to be repaid.

“Every country was told that it’s a loan, so on the following day of the 12th [October] following the emergency meeting, I called Puerto Rico to see if they could help me but the 12th [October] in the US Virgin Islands was Columbus day, a national holiday, so I called the Dominican Republic and I talked to Ruben who is the president of the Dominican Republic and he told me that if I got the money to him, he would pay it for us,” the USVI boxing head said.

“At the same time I remembered that I have a business partner who lives in the Dominican Republic, his name is Juan Carlo Maria. I called him and asked if he could do me a favour and told him I would give his daughter the money here in St Thomas and could he give $4,800 to the president in the [Dominican Republic] for us and he said, no problem. He got it done, subscription paid,” he added.

Rosario said the nine implicated countries have been granted a hearing by AIBA are confident the decision will be reversed.

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