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23 Mar 2021

AIBA names former Olympic champion Kovács as secretary general

AIBA, the international boxing association, has today appointed Hungary’s István Kovács as its new secretary general.

Kovács, a former Olympic champion boxer, will take up the role this week after the decision was made by the AIBA board of directors yesterday during a videoconference meeting.

The 50-year-old will be responsible for leading the day-to-day operations of the federation, which includes managing AIBA’s administrative staff and the head office in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Further duties will include: providing administrative assistance and support to the congress, board and committees of AIBA; assisting in securing the implementation of decisions taken by the congress, board and committees; and directing and supervising the preparation and management of AIBA’s accounts.

The secretary general will report to new AIBA president Umar Kremlev and the board of directors.

Kremlev, from Russia, said: “The fate of our organisation has to be decided and will be decided by the boxers themselves. They understand the needs for our sport effective development better than any managers. I am positive that as Secretary General, Kovács will be able to bring AIBA to a fundamentally new efficiency level and transparency of management.”

The boxing federation had been without a permanent head of day-to-day operations since USA's Tom Virgets was dismissed as director general in August 2019.

Kovács joins the organisation amid a reform process on which AIBA has embarked in an effort to rebuild its reputation and regain its former role organising the boxing competitions at the Olympic Games.

The International Olympic Committee suspended AIBA in June 2019 because of shortcomings in governance, finances, refereeing and judging. 

AIBA has now reconstituted its executive committee as a board of directors, with 22 members, down from 32, and at least six will have to be women, with athlete representatives also mandated.

Kovács added: “Now AIBA is undergoing a period of global reforms. All of them are necessary for boxing to develop as a sport. I see that the new AIBA leadership is heading in the right direction and is committed to working with full dedication to support and reinforce this course of positive change.

“I am sure that together we will be able to carry out all the necessary reforms and bring AIBA to a fundamentally new level.”