(Reuters) - Several international federations will be reviewing their membership of sports umbrella organization SportAccord next week after its president launched a scathing attack on the International Olympic Committee (IOC), they said on Saturday.
The international boxing federation (AIBA) became the latest body to withdraw from SportAccord, an organization representing close to 100 Olympic and non-Olympic sports federations and organizers of multi-sports games.
It pulled out this week after SportAccord President Marius Vizer’s scathing attack on the IOC last month.
AIBA also withdrew from the World Combat Games 2017 organized by SportAccord, leaving the event with just five Olympic sports among the 15 involved.
These are wrestling, taekwondo, fencing, weightlifting and judo, the international federation of which is led by Vizer himself.
The Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) has also suspended links with SportAccord.
Some of those federations are now also considering their own futures in SportAccord and the World Combat Games with wrestling due to discuss the issue on Monday.
“We are completely in solidarity with ASOIF,” United World Wrestling president Nenad Lalovic told Reuters. “We will absolutely follow the other 27 (Olympic) sports.”
Lalovic, credited with bringing wrestling back to the Games in 2013 after it was dropped briefly, said he would discuss any possible further action at the federation’s board meeting on Monday.
“We may follow (other federations) but first I have to consult my board,” Lalovic said in a telephone call from Qatar.
World taekwondo federation officials will also be discussing the issue during the world championships in Chelyabinsk in Russia next week, an WTF official told Reuters.
“We have just arrived in Russia. It will be discussed here,” said the official when asked about the federation’s membership of SportAccord. “When we have an official position it will be made public.”
The withdrawals are major blow to Vizer, who emerged as a self-styled reformer of international sport when he took over the SportAccord presidency two years ago.
He instantly clashed with the IOC, proposing the creation of the United World Championships, a possible competitor to the Olympics, a project that has not materialized.
In a head-on collision last month Vizer accused the IOC of blocking the creation of other events and deciding which sports could compete where while also interfering in the autonomy of sports.
SportAccord may not be of huge benefit for big sports such as athletics and soccer but for some smaller sports it is an annual showcase of their development to the largest possible audience of sports administrators, governments, federations and event organizers.
Editing by Ed Osmond