Lisa O’Rourke and Amy Broadhurst yet to receive prize money from IBA two months after winning world titles

IRELAND’s two recently-crowned world boxing champions Amy Broadhurst and Lisa O’Rourke have not yet received their prize money from the International Boxing Association even though the event took place two months ago.

n IBA spokesperson said this afternoon: “The payment will be released shortly and will be wired directly to the boxers’ accounts.”

The spokesperson added that the organisation had following standard procedures and ‘upon receipt of the anti-doping testing results, IBA proceeded with all the necessary arrangement to make the payment to the boxers.’

Eyebrows were raised when the IBA, currently bankrolled by the Russian state-owned gas company Gazprom, announced last year that that all the medallists at the men’s and women’s world championships would receive significant prize money.

The prize fund was as follows: gold medallists €98,870 ($100,0000), silver medallists €49,435 ($50,000) and bronze medallists €24,717 ($25,000).

Broadhurst and O’Rourke made significant career breakthroughs at the world championships in Istanbul in May, winning gold medals in the light-welterweight and light-middleweight divisions respectively. So, as well as collecting gold medals, they were each entitled to €98,870 in prize money.

In terms of their boxing career this would be life-changing. Broadhurst, who will be in action for Northern Ireland at the forthcoming Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, is due to receive €25,000 in funding from Sport Ireland this year while O’Rourke wasn’t a funded athlete prior to her trip to Turkey.

Having again being stripped of the right to have any involvement in the boxing tournament at the Paris Olympics in two years by the International Olympic Committee, the IBA faces further financial challenges in the coming year.

Their controversial sponsorship contact with Gazprom ends on December 31 and their recent congress was told they are not been able to attract new sponsors.

According to recently published budgets – their financial year runs July to June – their projected revenue will drop by nearly 70 percent in the next 12 months compared to the corresponding period between June 2020 and July 2021.

In the 12-month period ending on June 30th, their revenue from sponsorship and TV rights was €27.8m. In the next 12 months it will drop to €6.2m. As a result, a €2.5m grant to the IBA’s five continental federations will not be made in the next 12 months.

There is no provision in the 2022-2023 budget for prize money to boxers either.

Meanwhile, ten countries including the United States, France and Australia have formally requested the IBA to switch their planned extraordinary congress, where the Association’s presidential election is due to be re-run, from Yerevan in Armenia to Lausanne in Switzerland.

The group known as the Common Cause Alliance state in a letter that the decision of the IBA Board to stage the event in Yerevan is unacceptable because a) the McLaren Independent Investigation team is currently conducting an investigation into what the statement describes as ‘disturbing events’ at the recent European men’s elite championships and b) because the Armenian government is a close military and political ally of the Russian government, which the statement says is ‘currently conducting an illegal military invasion of Ukraine’.

“We urge the IBA Board of Directors to address these facts and re-assign the IBA Extraordinary Congress hosting rights without delay. We believe that the optimal solution for the IBA would be to host this crucial IBA Congress in Lausanne, which is “the home and heart of the international boxing”, according to the statement of the IBA President at the June 24, 2022 IBA Board Meeting,” reads a letter sent to the IBA secretary-general.

According to an IBA spokesperson, their Board of Directors has already taken the decision about date and place for the congress, and the registration process for National Federations has begun.

“IBA Board of Directors has examined different bids and chosen the best suitable solution that satisfies all necessary requirements. Lausanne nor Switzerland did not come up with a bidding proposal, therefore, the country was not considered,” said the spokesperson who confirmed the IBA had received the letter from the Common Cause Alliance and ‘will discuss these claims in the nearest time.

The Presidential election has to be re-run after the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled that Dutchman Boris van der Vorst was wrongly denied the opportunity to challenge the outgoing IBA President Umar Kremlev from Russia at the last congress in Istanbul.

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